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EDITORIAL: A rare outpouring of solidarity

It sometimes takes a terrible tragedy to remind us just how much we rely on and cherish our police officers and what they represent.

The death of four officers on a freeway last week, amid all the upheaval and fears surrounding COVID-19, came as a massive blow to the Victorian community.

Everyday people from across the state joined the police fraternity and families mourning the loss of loved ones in what represented a rare outpouring of solidarity. It also sent shockwaves across Australia.

The community response, albeit in such dreadful circumstances, reflected an important aspect of our society and the freedoms and support our democratic way of life provides.

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For a start, it showed high levels of community empathy for individuals involved in the tragedy and others who have the job of trying to manage the fallout.

But it also revealed, deep down, high levels of respect communities have for what police officers in our part of the world, in our state and country, represent.

Some call it ‘the thin blue line’, the barrier between a safe society and dangerous anarchy. 

It’s where frontline personnel work to keep the majority safe and secure.

It is in this often complex zone where order and all the complications of humanity meet head to head. And in the middle of it all, dealing incredibly diverse circumstances, a constant rollercoaster of emotions and at times risking physical and mental injury or worse, are our police officers.

Many of us were shocked when we heard about what happened last week and horrified, disgusted and angry at many of the circumstances coming to light. We were also relieved in hearing other information about  this sorry saga.

Through the haze of it all we’ve seen much of society raise a powerful and moving hand in support of police and recognition of what they do and the role they play.

There was almost an immediate ‘blue’ response across the state as organisations and individuals made efforts to show support by lighting up buildings and landmarks to tying ribbons to trees.

If nothing else, our members in blue can take confidence there is a groundswell of day-to-day people who have their backs.

The entire April 29, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire April 29, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!