THIS year's National Police Remembrance Day service in Bendigo had a new feature - the presentation of an award, in honour of an officer no longer in their midst.
Maryborough Leading Senior Constable David Scott was named the recipient of the Andrew Steel Staff Welfare Award.
Senior Constable Steel died on November 6, 2018, after a battle with illness.
A well-respected member of the policing communities in Bendigo and Maryborough, the 55-year-old was involved in the Blue Ribbon Foundation.
His name was among 21 read out during today's service as attendees remembered police and public service staff who had died in-service during the past 12 months.
As each person was named, a serving police member placed a red rose in a vase in tribute.
The vases were filled out by white flowers placed by friends and loved ones.
Members of Senior Constable Steel's family were among those who took the opportunity to place a floral tribute.
Senior Constable Steel's daughter, Andrea, then presented the award honouring her father.
The Bendigo ceremony was one of five staged in regional Victoria.
Echuca was among the other locations.
Two new names were added to the Victoria Police Memorial Honour Wall during the Melbourne service - those of Leading Senior Constable Keith Patterson and Detective Senior Sergeant Victor Kostiuk.
A total of 166 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their community in the 166 years since Victoria Police was established.
"We will never forget them and their contribution to keeping Victorians safe," Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
"We are well aware of the dangers our officers face when they hit the street. Yet every day, more than 15,000 police and 1400 Protective Services Officers put on their uniforms... and come to work to protect Victorians."
Victoria Police Legacy chair, Commander Lauren Callaway told those assembled in the Bendigo Town Hall days like today were a reminder of how communities were affected by the loss of a police officer.
Whether in the line or duty or otherwise, she said such deaths left a huge void in people's lives.
"Sadly, legatee numbers are on the increase," Commander Callaway said.
"If we can help we will try and do it. Our culture is to have one of compassion."
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