A custody Sargeant who was due to work with Sgt Matt Ratana on Sunday evening has paid tribute to the fallen officer by adorning the chair that Sgt Ratana would have been sat on with an ‘All Blacks’ rugby shirt – in honour of Sgt Ratana’s background and enthusiasm for the sport – and a McDonald’s.
Captioning the sombre image, Sgt Lovelock said:
‘Matt was due to be covering an overtime shift with us today at Walworth Custody Suite. We saved him a chair and Chris owed him a brekky’.
It later transpired that in the weeks before he was shot and killed, Sgt Ratana had bought breakfast for one of his colleagues who he thought could do with some cheering up.
Many of the heartfelt tributes which have been shared by Sgt Ratana’s colleagues detail how the veteran officer had an extraordinarily kind heart and how he would go out of his way to help his colleagues and the vulnerable people he came into contact with.
Sgt Lovelock added:
“Matt was one of those familiar faces, he certainly wasn’t frightened of doing the overtime and he wasn’t frightened to travel.
“He should have been on shift with me today and yesterday as well, and so it was quite sad really, turning up to work and knowing that he should have been there and he wasn’t.
“My colleague Chris got him the breakfast because Matt, being the type of guy he was, bought him one when he was last in and said ‘don’t worry, sort me out next time’.
“They’re quits now”.
The post has now been shared nearly 7k times and has attracted almost 4k likes.
Sgt Ratana’s cousin, Adrian Rurawhe, who is an MP in New Zealand, also paid tribute to the well-loved officer. He told Sky News:
“We’re really sad, both that he’s gone too soon but also the nature of how he’s gone.
“We’ll remember him with fondness and love. We’re really proud of the work he’s done as a police officer.”
Emergency Services news has set up a memorial group on social media for PS Ratana.
Since the tragic death of PC Andrew Harper in August 2019, Emergency Services News has created a group for each member of the UK emergency services who have died while on duty.
To join the group that we have set up for PS Ratana, then please click HERE.
Talking about the groups our Editor, John Johnson said:
“One of the reasons we have set these memorial groups up is to ensure that the general public never forgets the sacrifices made by the men and women who have died in the execution of their duties.
“Each group is ‘private’ and they can be used as a place where colleagues, family and friends can share their work-related memories of PS Ratana.
“We must never forget or take for granted the sacrifices which are made by the men and women who serve in the emergency services.
“Since August 2019, five police officers and one firefighter in the UK have died or been killed whilst on duty”.