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Sympathy across borders

Messages of condolence for Constable Matthew Hunt’s family and for police in New Zealand were sent to the Police Association after the news of the young officer’s death.

They came from other first responders, fellow police associations and unions around the world and from New Zealanders who felt moved to contact the association.

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, messaged Police Association president Chris Cahill directly to tell him that the loss of an officer is felt by the whole policing family.

A former New Zealand police officer, Karl Braun, said: “We are one family.
If one of us is hurt, we all are.”

Victoria police officer Ken Dwight wrote of his great sadness on hearing the news. “I wish I could do more than just offer my condolences, but please pass them on to the members and to the injured civilian.”

Darrel Surman, secretary of the New Zealand Firefighters Welfare Society, said that such a “senseless and tragic event… reminds all of us of the danger the police are always in when they go to work on behalf of all New Zealanders”.

John Thom and Julie Wagner wrote as the parents of a young officer themselves: “Please forward our heartfelt sympathy to the family.”

From Britain, John Taylor, secretary of the Liverpool and Merseyside Branch of the International Police Association, said police there, who were already reeling from the murder of an Irish Garda officer the day before, had read with horror about the senseless killing in New Zealand.

“As serving and retired officers, we share your grief even though we are thousands of miles away.”

He added: “Rest in peace, brother. Your tour of duty is over.”

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