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Ceremony for Wounded Christchurch Police Officers

( More than 100 Christchurch police staff and their families gathered at Christchurch Central Police Station today to reflect on the events in Buccleugh Street last week and to give thanks for the encouraging recovery being made by the two wounded policemen.

Superintendent Dave Cliff, Canterbury District Commander, said today’s meeting was a chance to acknowledge the contribution all staff made during and since last week’s shooting.

“It was a chance for operations, investigation and support staff to gather with the families of Senior Constable Bruce Lamb and Constable Mitchel Alatalo,” Superintendent Cliff said. “It was also a brief time for us to reflect on the excellent work of all staff who responded to that scene, the courage of individual officers and that of course of police dog Gage.”

Both the injured officers were able to briefly attend today’s ceremony – which coincided with Constable Alatalo’s 31st birthday.

“It’s too soon to know when Bruce and Mitch will be back at work but they’re making an amazing recovery,” he said. “I’m very proud of the way all of my staff has responded to the challenges of last week. We’ve also had amazing support from throughout the country and overseas. I want to thank the public for all the support that has been shown to us. We continue to receive hundreds of messages, calls and emails of support.

“We’ve shed a few tears, but also drawn a lot of strength during the last few days. While we’re sad for Gage, we’re just so relieved that our officers are alive and still with us,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope, Operations, attended the short private ceremony which was led by police chaplains Hilary Barlow and Jim Patrick.

Media Release 19 July 2010 from NZ Police.



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