Sad journey home for NSW officer killed in freeway tragedy
Heartbroken colleagues of Constable Glen Humphris said their final farewell to the fallen police officer in a moving repatriation ceremony along the NSW border.
High-ranking members of Victoria Police, led by Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, joined Const Humphris's partner Todd Robinson as they began their journey to his NSW hometown, Gosford, where the late police officer will be laid to rest.
Const Humphris, who had been in the Victorian force less than a year, grew up on the NSW Central Coast and was living in Newcastle before he moved to Victoria three years ago.
His grieving partner of four years, Mr Robinson previously described his partner as "bubbly, outgoing and loving".
Four Victoria Police Highway Patrol vehicles escorted the hearse as it left Melbourne around 7am this morning.
After making the 300km journey across the NSW border at Hovell Park in Albury, Victoria Police handed over duties to the NSW Police force.
Chief Commissioner Ashton handed Const Humphris's hat to NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy in a short repatriation ceremony, as five NSW officers on motorcycles took over the escort.
Mr Robinson travelled to Albury in an unmarked police 4WD that followed the hearse, and was supported by his family members.
Mr Ashton said it was a "very proud and humbling moment" to escort the remains of Const. Humphris across the NSW border.
The Chief Commissioner thanked the dozens of members of Victoria Police who lined the Hume Freeway as a mark of respect as they made their way to the border.
"I've never seen anything like it before. Coming up the Hume Freeway today, we left very early and practically at every junction there were officers lining the freeway, saluting us as we went past," he said.
"I've never seen that before. It wasn't something that was requested, the members decided to do that off their own initiative and it was very humbling to see.
"I think it goes to show how this tragedy had touched the whole force. Not only in Victoria, but across Australia."
NSW Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy paid tribute to Const. Humphris, who was one of the four police officers killed in last month's Eastern Freeway crash.
"Here in NSW, we don't just share a border with Victoria Police, we share a lot of duties and the pride, the passion and the spirit of police. We really feel the pain when officers are lost," Mr Loy said.
"This whole incident and the past week has been an exceptional week for Victoria Police, very difficult.
"It also highlights the dangerous job that policing is, and we both share that.
"Today we're so proud to escort young Const. Glen Humphris to his last resting place. We hope the family can get some resolve and move on from this in the future."
Later today, NSW Police will hold a ceremony for Const. Humphris and his family at their Police Academy in Goulburn as they escort his remains back to his hometown.
"That's where we grow our police and he's a young police officer, we just thought that would be a nice touch for him and his family," Mr Loy said.
They are not expected to reach Gosford until 9pm tonight - 14 hours after the journey began from Melbourne.
Tributes from colleagues at the officer's funeral on Friday remembered the enthusiasm and passion Const. Humphris brought to the force.
"(Young officers) will carry the hurt that comes from his loss," Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said.
"They will carry his memory and they will honour his memory every day that they serve."
Constable Humphris was on placement as part of his probationary training when he was killed by a truck while dealing with a Porsche driver in the emergency lane of the Eastern Freeway on April 22 along.
Fellow officers Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Josh Prestney and Senior Constable Kevin King were also killed.
Funerals have been held for Sen Const. Taylor and Sen Const. King, with Const. Prestney to be farewelled at Xavier College, his former school, on Monday.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, a maximum of 10 people can attend each funeral, and the services have been live-streamed to family, friends and colleagues.
Police flags across the state are flying at half mast and the Melbourne police academy is lit in blue each evening to recognise the sacrifice of officers.
A public state memorial service will be held once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
Originally published as Sad journey home for NSW officer killed in freeway tragedy