Criteria for Inclusion on National Police Memorial

PREAMBLE:

The National Police Memorial Steering Committee (NPMSC) established a process to include on the National Police Memorial at the time of Dedication, the names of those who were on memorials of individual jurisdictions. From the time of Dedication onwards, names will be incorporated using the following set of criteria. The criteria for names to be included on the Memorial have been developed taking into account the agreed commemorative purpose and in consultation with the NPMSC and all Australian police jurisdictions.

COMMEMORATIVE INTENT:

“The National Police Memorial commemorates those who have been killed on duty or have died as a result of their duties and recognises the police contribution to the Australian Community.

The Memorial should capture a range of policing elements including:

  • Courage, duty and integrity;
  • The perpetual need to serve the community;
  • The unpredictable nature of policing;
  • The strength, unity and common purpose of police; and
  • Local, national and international aspects”.
Definitions
“Australian soil”  Means continental Australia and all external Territories administered by the Australian Government   
“Call out”     A formal or directed recall to duty
“Committee”  National Police Memorial Coordination Committee (NPMCC) 
“Died as a result of their duties” Means a police officer has died as a direct and conclusive link to a personal injury causing or substantially contributing to the death.  An illness or disease may be classed as an injury if arising from an external physical cause or contracted in the course of duty
“Killed on duty”  Means a police officer who is killed whilst on duty
“Memorial”    National Police Memorial located in Kings Park Canberra which includes the names of Police Officers of all Australian Police Jurisdictions (including former police organisations) who have been killed on duty or have died as a result of their duties on Australian soil or overseas
“On Duty”  Means any lawful action taken whilst acting as a police officer within the office of constable
“Overseas”    Means an overseas mission such as multi-jurisdictional deployments including those to UN missions, other operational deployments and secondments or natural disaster/humanitarian assistance sanctioned by the Australian Government  
“Sworn staff” Any police officer who is a sworn member of an Australian Police organisation, including retired or invalided former officers 
“Training”  Police officers undergoing structured and formal operational training
 “Touchstone”  Is the name plaque for officers placed on the Memorial wall
“Unsworn staff” Employees working for an Australian Police organisation not being sworn.

CRITERIA:

Consistent with the commemorative purpose statement, members’ names will be placed on the Memorial based on those who have been killed on duty or have died as a result of their duties. 

Each case will be examined carefully by the Committee before it is accepted.  In the case of historical deaths two independent sources of information for verification will be required, except in the case of official records where one source may suffice. Each case will be treated individually and on its own merits and will not be accepted for inclusion on the Memorial wall unless these criteria are satisfied. However, while maintaining the overall principle of the Commemorative Purpose Statement, the Memorial aims to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Where there is doubt about an officer's eligibility, for the sake of the officer's family and colleagues, the benefit of that doubt will generally go towards their inclusion.

Eligibility requirements for inclusion on the Memorial is based on the following criteria:

“On duty” including “training”

  • Death is a direct result of the performance of their duties or their occupation as a police officer
  • The circumstances of the death should be directly related to their police duties and not incidental to them
  • Dies as a result of their duties, whether on duty or not
  • On duty means during a tour of duty and comprises all normal lawful actions carried out as part of one's duty as a police officer including routine patrol.  It does not include some activities undertaken by choice and not subject to an obligation of duty, for example, playing sports. It does not include deaths, determined by the jurisdiction or the Committee to be resulting from an officer's own gross negligence or misconduct.

In the execution of their duty while off duty may include incidents involving:

  1. The arrest or attempted arrest of a suspected offender;
  2. The prevention of an offence;
  3. Saving life or attempting a rescue.

As a result of duty may include:

  1. Death occurring some time after the event from the effects of an injury on duty;
  2. While off duty but on account of being a police officer (a revenge or other type of attack);
  3. An injury received after retirement but on account of previous status as a police officer.

Generally travel to and from work is excluded except where an officer is responding to a “call out” or places themselves “on duty”

  • Ordinarily, driving to and from duty does not warrant inclusion on the National Police Memorial; however, applications will be considered on an individual case as submitted by the relevant jurisdiction.  The onus of proof is on the jurisdiction that the officer was ‘killed on duty’ or ‘died as a result of their duties’.

Recalled to Duty

  • Officers recalled to duty for a special purpose are effectively on duty as soon as they leave home and such cases will be classed as actually on duty rather than traveling (for example, attending an incident).

Serving “Overseas”

  • Officers serving overseas will qualify for inclusion on the Memorial under the same criteria as if they were serving in Australia 
  • An officer who is killed or dies whilst serving overseas is not automatically entitled to be included on the Memorial solely on the basis of their overseas deployment.  Other categories included in this criteria must apply.

Targeted victim of criminal activity because of their role with a police service (both current and former members)

  • Officers who are killed or die as a result of injuries after being the target of criminal activity, because of their role or previous role with a police service (ie retribution/revenge), will be included regardless if they are serving or former (including retired) police officers.  

Retired Officers

  • A retired Officer may be included if the injuries causing their death were as a result of an “on duty” incident.  The death of a retired member must have a direct and conclusive link to a personal injury causing or substantially contributing to their death.
     

Unsworn    

  • Eligibility for inclusion may be determined after a review of several issues including but not limited to –
    1. Person acting in the capacity of the Office of Constable
    2. Job description
    3. Training
    4. Circumstances of death

Suicide  

  • Cases of suicide are not eligible for inclusion on the Memorial.

Where the employee has been involved in criminal activity

  • As a general rule where the death of an officer was as a result of being involved in criminal activity, they would not be included; however, being inclusive rather than exclusive, the benefit of the doubt may go towards the inclusion of an officer.

Unknown cause of death or open finding of death by Coroner

  • Death occurring on duty but the evidence does not fully disclose how the cause of death arose resulting in an inquest returning an open verdict is not an automatic exclusion from the Memorial.

Unconfirmed and historical cases

  • In circumstances where an officer died of unnatural causes while serving and death may have occurred in the line of duty but the facts are unconfirmed. This may be due to the date of death or name of the deceased being unknown, or lack of corroboration of a reported death, or it is not known if it occurred on or as a result of duty. It would be incumbent on the relevant jurisdiction to provide information as to the circumstances of the death and details of the officer/s involved.

Natural causes

  • Sudden death from natural causes and deaths from illness or disease are included where the performance of a particular duty directly contributed to the death, for example, a collapse or heart attack brought on by physical exertion involving:
    • Arrest of suspect or prevention of offence
    • The protection of life or property
    • Compulsory physical training.
  • Deaths from illness or disease directly relating to an accidental injury or an act of violence and in close proximity to it may be shown under this classification
  • Sudden death on non-operational duties is not automatically included, but in being inclusive rather than exclusive, the benefit of the doubt may go towards the inclusion of any sudden death on duty.

Names withheld from inclusion

  • Where a jurisdiction has withheld a name from inclusion on the Memorial for any reason, the name may be included at a later date provided they meet the criteria.

Removing a touchstone on the Memorial

  • Where information is provided to the NPMCC under the following conditions a name may be removed from the Memorial:
    • The death was as a result of proven criminal activity
    • The death did not occur
    • The death was not as a result of injuries sustained.

Reinstating a touchstone on the Memorial

  • Where information is provided to the NPMCC in relation to a name that has been removed or not placed on the Memorial, that name may be reinstated under the following circumstances:
    • Withdrawal of criminal charges
    • Evidence death was found not to be a result of criminal activity
    • Other evidence or information which provides the Committee with the ability to reinstate the name.