Slain Queensland police officer Senior Constable Brett Forte has been remembered as a loving son, brother, husband and father.
More than a week after he was killed in the line of duty, thousands gathered at the Clive Berghofer Recreational Centre in Toowoomba on Wednesday morning to farewell the father of three, who was shot dead on May 29 when gunman Rick Maddison opened fire on police officers in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane.
Maddison was eventually shot dead in an overnight standoff with officers.
Senior Constable Forte’s wife, Susie, and daughter Emma led the family tributes for the third-generation police officer.
“To my wonderful husband Brett, you were a fantastic husband to me and father to our children,” Ms Forte said, struggling to hold back her tears.
“I promise to raise our children with the values you held dear.
“I’ll miss your inappropriate comments that always made me laugh so much.
“You were my hero and my soulmate and I will love you forever.”
Daughter Emma called her father her guardian angel.
“A hero can be someone who gave up his or her life so that someone else can live. This definition is a pure example of my dad,” she said.
“To the world you may be one person, but to our family you were the world, rest in peace my guardian angel.”
One of Brett’s brothers read a letter from his mother, Heather.
“We’ll never get over your loss, part of my heart and soul is lost,” he said.
“My heart breaks when I think about how you loved our family Christmas, but you will always be there with us, and your place at the table will be set.”
Another of his brothers read a letter from his father, Stuart.
“Your mother always kissed and gave you a hug when we parted, I probably haven’t done that since you were eight. I wish I could’ve done that one last time,” he said.
“You have made us so proud, I love you so much.”
‘He was committed to protecting the people of Queensland’
Family friend Jeff Lancaster, who had known Senior Constable Forte since birth, delivered the eulogy.
“Brett was a loveable larrikin in the true Australian tradition. He was a son, a brother, a friend, an uncle, a team-mate, a colleague, a father, a husband,” Mr Lancaster said.
“And in each of these relationships he was selfless and considerate. He was giving. He was loving.
“The common thread that is delicately woven through the fabric of all Brett’s relationships though is humour. And it is this humour that connects many of us to this wonderful human being.
“He was bawdy. He was self-deprecating. He was sarcastic. And he was funny.
“But he also had a serious side. A side that was committed to serving and protecting the people of Queensland.”
Mr Lancaster said Senior Constable Forte came from a long line of proud policemen.
“His grandfather was a cop. His father was a cop. His uncle was a cop. It was a family that he was destined – and determined – to join,” he said.
Senior Constable Forte awarded Valour Award
Reading the valedictory, Queensland Police Service Commissioner Ian Stewart spoke highly of Senior Constable Forte’s devotion to his community.
“Brett leaves a far-reaching legacy on the Queensland Police Service and on the communities he served,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“He will be remembered by the many victims and families to whom he showed compassion and support.
“More so, Brett will be remembered for his ultimate sacrifice and his selfless act of valour in protecting and preserving the lives of his colleagues.
Join us for the funeral of slain Qld police officer Brett Forte, who was killed in the line of duty by a gunman.
Posted by ABC News on 2017年6月6日
“Brett taught us lessons in mateship and family. He treated others with respect, and was a principled, respected and professional police officer whose opinion and advice was sought by subordinates, peers and management alike.
“Brett’s open and genuine character endeared him to all those he came in contact with and he embodied the qualities we most value as an organisation.”
Commissioner Stewart awarded the Queensland Police Service Valour Award to Senior Constable Forte for his actions in protecting his colleagues and the community on the day of his death.
His National Medal and National Police Service Medal were presented to Senior Constable Forte’s wife.
“Brett was a friend and colleague taken from us too soon,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“Brett was a man of courage, professionalism and unfailing decency.
“Brett gave his life so that others could live. While his life was full, it was far too short.”
Among the dignitaries at Senior Constable Forte’s funeral were Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Police Service (QPS) Commissioner Ian Stewart, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey, Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls, federal MP Peter Dutton and Queensland senator Pauline Hanson.
Officers and high-ranking officials from all state and territory police agencies, Australian Federal Police and New Zealand Police, as well as the New York Police Department, were also in attendance.
Police past and present form Guard of Honour
Following the service, hundreds of serving and retired QPS officers and staff lined both sides of Baker Street for the Guard of Honour.
The hearse was lead down the street by more than a dozen police motorcycles, and followed by the Queensland Police Pipes and Drums Band.
Following the band were 70 police motorcyclists, 50 police dogs and seven police horses from across the state.
The police helicopter also flew over the motorcade.
Senior Constable Forte was buried at a private service.