Statement by Ian Leavers released to all police in Queensland and interstate:
As you may be aware, it is with great sadness that I e-mail you to inform you of the tragic death of one of our members.
Today we pay tribute to Senior Constable Brett Forte after he tragically passed away from injuries he sustained when he was shot by an alleged offender he was pursuing whilst on duty this afternoon while working with the Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad.
Senior Constable Forte was a brave and courageous officer and a role model who was killed on duty doing the job he loved and whilst he was keeping the community safe.
Senior Constable Forte performed his duties with courage, integrity and honour.
It is a heartbreaking day for the entire community to lose such a fine officer.
All police officers, along with their friends and families, across Queensland have been shaken and saddened by today’s tragic events.
I worked with Brett when he first joined the police service and as this is my "home region" and being here in Toowoomba since this afternoon, I personally know and have worked with many of the police involved as has our Regional Representative also in attendance Chris Proudlock. General Secretary Mick Barnes has also been here in Toowoomba. We have had the great privilege of being with his family and his friends and co-workers at the Regional Office this evening.
I thank and acknowledge Chris & Mick for their support, assistance and pastoral care they have also provided officers in Toowoomba and the broader Southern Region Eastern.
Our hearts go out to Brett’s wife Susan, also a police officer, and his three children. The Union knows that it is a very difficult time for Susan, and as a member of our union, and we will make sure that there will be nothing we will not be willing to do to help her, their children and Brett’s extended family through this difficult time, as both Brett's father is a retired police officer and his brother-in-law is also currently serving.
This incident once again highlights the inherent danger involved in police work.
All Police Officers put their lives on the line every time they pull on the uniform and commence their duty shift.
The death of a colleague is also a very emotional and challenging time for the officers involved, indeed for the entire police community.
Today’s events have reminded us that our job as police is always dangerous, it never stops, and it comes at a heavy cost to us all.
It is also a stark reminder of what we risk every day; that when we leave home to go to work each day there are never any guarantees we will come home at the end of the day.
Brett Forte was a person whose life was cut tragically short, and we Queensland police remember and honour him.
For any members wishing to donate, the details for the established fund are below:
Brett Forte Remembrance Fund
BSB: 704 052
Account #: 100 179 875
Message to appear in account: (person’s name who is donating).
NB: If you are transferring funds from a QBANK Account, please add S1 to the end of the account number.
For those wishing to donate in person, this can be done at QBANK at North Quay in Brisbane, or any Westpac branch quoting the above details.
The Westpac account details are:
BSB: 034 838
Account #: 263281
In support of the extended Police Family, your Association has also decided to donate $15,000 to Senior Constable’s Forte fund, being the equivalent of the PANSW Death Benefit payable to our members.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Senior Constable Forte’s family, friends, colleagues and all our brothers and sisters in blue in the extended Queensland policing family, and it is in these times that the strength of the wider police family is fortified, as we rally together to support the family and loved ones impacted by this tragic loss.