David Harold Wright CURTIS
AKA DAVE, DC
Late of ?
Police Academy Class # ? ? ?
Western Australia Police Force
Regd. # 6942
Rank: Cadet – commenced ? November 1982
Probationary Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Constable 1st Class – appointed ? ? ?
Senior Constable – appointed ? ? ?
Final Rank = Senior Constable
Stations: Kambalda ( 1982 ), Kalgoorlie, Mt Magnet, Newman – Death
Service: From ? ? 1982 to 30 January 2019 = 36+ years Service
Awards: National Medal – granted 30 July 1998
Born: ? ? ?
Died on: Wednesday 30 January 2019
Cause: Depression – Suicide – (Method ? )
Event location: ?, W.A.
Event date: Wednesday 30 January 2019
Funeral date: Tuesday 12 February 2019
Funeral location: Kalgoorlie Crematorium Chapel, Kalgoorlie Cemetery, West Lamington, W.A.
Wake location: ?
Funeral Parlour: IVAN VUKOVIC, Kalgoorlie 9021 2023
Buried at: Cremated
Memorial located at: ?
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal
May they forever Rest In Peace
It is with great sadness that another WA Police officer ( male ) has taken their own life overnight. If you know their name please do not divulge it, thank you.
If you need to speak to someone please reach out to anyone be it a friend, relative, Soldiers and Sirens, Soldier On, MHERL even if you reach out through Facebook please just know you can talk to someone. We do understand a number of us have been on the edge before and know what its like.
Our condolences to the family.
Information supplied via Soldiers & Sirens Western Australia
The Funeral Service for the late David Harold Wright Curtis of Vitali Crescent, Kalgoorlie will assemble at the main entrance of the Goldfields Crematorium, Memorial Drive, Kalgoorlie for a Cremation Service at 10.30am on TUESDAY (12.2.2019).IVAN VUKOVICH
Senior Constable Dave Curtis was the sort of cop who would consistently reach out to other officers going through a tough time.
Affectionately known as ‘DC’ by colleagues, he would routinely get in touch with fellow officers who’d been assaulted on the job, making sure they were okay.
He was also known to speak at various police-related and other community events over the years without a microphone – such was the power of his booming voice.
It always got people’s attention.
But Senior Constable Curtis – who first joined WA Police as a cadet in November 1982 – stunned his fellow officers and family by taking his own life in January.
“The last time we saw one another was at my son’s belated birthday party the weekend before,” his son John Curtis said.
“At the time, he seemed deflated.
“You always offer some assistance or some time to talk, but in this particular circumstance he didn’t see it fit to speak to anyone about it.”
‘He just loved us all so much’
John Curtis said his father told him shortly before he died he would never have to worry about him “doing something stupid”.
“So obviously to get the subsequent news was quite a shock,” he said.
“He’s not the kind of person who would have liked to have burdened anyone with his trouble.
“He didn’t want to shift that burden that he was wearing elsewhere to help himself.
“He loved everyone around him, he didn’t want to cause them any harm or stress.
“He just loved us all so much.”
Senior Constable Curtis’ death is understood to be one of several police suicides across the country in recent weeks and months.
The “tragic and unnecessary deaths” – the Police Federation of Australia says – “demonstrate that holding the thin blue line comes at a very significant cost”.
Senior Constable Curtis’ passing has also once again put a spotlight on the psychological toll policing and other frontline emergency work has on people.
It is for this reason WAtoday has begun a three-part series on the issue starting from today. On Thursday, we will explore the newly restructured police unit tasked with helping officers and their families with mental health issues, and the toll PTSD has on serving and former cops.
‘I’m still stunned by it’
Close friend and fellow WA cop Geoff Stewart said he’d been left rocked by the passing of his mate and colleague.
“The thing I liked the most about him was his integrity,” Superintendent Stewart recalled.
“In all the time I knew him, I never saw him get angry or hear him talk ill of his colleagues. He knew the value of a team.
“DC’s passing has rocked us all and I’m still stunned by it.
“Every police station has a DC. That one individual who is the centre of the place, keeps things ticking and always had the interest of the team at heart.
“Look up country copper in a dictionary and there will be a picture of DC.”
Superintendent Stewart said Senior Constable Curtis was one of several officers stationed at Newman who had to deal with the tragic events of a police air wing crash in the regional town in 2001.
The crash claimed the lives of four police officers.
“That would have left an impact on anyone and I know it did for DC,” Superintendent Stewart said.
Another fellow police officer who knew the 53-year-old said: “He was a typical, old-school, country copper.
“Firm but fair, with a big heart and very community-minded.
“It makes me sad that a strong, resilient man who had given so much and seen so much, got to a point in his life that he could not go on.”
‘We are hurting’
At the time of his death Senior Constable Curtis was a branch official and a director of the WA Police Union.
“He genuinely cared for the welfare of his fellow officers,” WA Police Union boss and close mate Harry Arnott said.
“Around the board table, he always provided a considered, highly-valued opinion.
“A man of few words, when he spoke, people listened and he was a strong voice for regional coppers.
“We are hurting because we have not only lost a great police officer and union man, we’ve lost a great mate.”
A Senate report released in February recommended a range of changes with regard to how governments respond to the mental health concerns of first responders, like police officers and paramedics.
Among the report’s 14 recommendations was a suggestion that compulsory mental health awareness training be introduced in every first responder organisation across Australia.
Research released last year by Beyond Blue found one in three police officers and other emergency service workers experienced high or very high psychological distress compared to one in eight Australian adults.
The research also found police officers and other emergency service workers report suicidal thoughts twice as often as other adults.
John Curtis said he hoped his father’s passing would prompt other people who may have such thoughts, or who are battling any mental health issues to speak up.
“It is OK to ask for help,” he said.
“Just go speak to someone.”
This Guest Book will remain online until 8/03/2019. Learn More
Friday, 1 February 2019
On behalf of the WA Police Union Directors and Staff, we extend our sincerest condolences to Kerrie and family on the passing of their beloved Dave.
Rest in peace friend and colleague.
Senior Constable Dave Curtis 6942.
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the sudden and tragic passing of a serving WA Police Force officer overnight and we have lost one of our finest.
Dave was a wonderful supporter of the band and was also a member of our Friends of the Band Program.
Sincerest condolences to all Dave’s family and friends.
If you need to speak to someone we urge you to please, please, reach out.
Talk to your colleagues, a friend or loved one or make that call to one of the numbers below or the Helpline for wherever you reside.
Rest In Peace Dave.
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 80
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
Information shared via Western Australia Police Pipe Band & Supporters’ Association
Some details on the officer in WAPOL that was lost to the world this week.
PUTP unfortunately has recently lost one of our own but known personally of 3 police related deaths in the last 2 months. We grieve still.
Our thoughts go to family of this officer both blood and in blue.
In memoriam: Senior Constable David ‘Dave’ Curtis, WA Police Force, died suddenly on the night of 30th January 2019
Senior Constable David Harold Wright Curtis dedicated 34 years of diligent service to the community of Western Australia. His larger-than-life personality and his willingness to help impressed many in the Goldfields region and beyond. His presence made a significant impact in Western Australia and his leaving has left our world a poorer place.
Dave Curtis was a wonderful supporter of Police Legacy and many other community initiatives, including his contributions to Polair 64 memorial and events. The support he offered to members following the tragedy at Newman will forever be remembered; he held the community together through very trying times. As the Eastern Region Director, he was a valued Member and contributor to the WA Police Union for more than a decade.
As he leaves behind his loving wife and children, he is reunited with his late father and step-daughter. Dave Curtis will forever be remembered for his many accomplishments, and as a great friend, colleague and a true gentleman. His loss has left us all feeling deeply desolate with grief.
Our hearts go out to his family, friends, colleagues; everyone who loved him. May peace and comfort find them during this incredibly difficult time.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts.
FAREWELL TO A ‘GENTLE GIANT’
There was a huge outpouring of solidarity as more than 200 police officers from across the State yesterday joined family and friends to farewell Senior Constable David Curtis at a touching funeral service in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
At the service he was described by friends and colleagues as a “gentle giant” who always put others before himself.
But underneath his sunny and selfless nature, Sen. Const. Curtis faced emotional turmoil and to the stunned dismay of friends and family he made the decision to take his own life last month at the age of 53.
His death came after 36 years with WA Police, in a career which began at Kambalda in 1982. He went on to serve at Kalgoorlie Police Station, Mt Magnet Police Station and Newman Police Station.
At the funeral service yesterday, an emotional former policeman and State Member for Kalgoorlie Kyran O’Donnell, who knew Sen. Const. Curtis for 30 years, told the Kalgoorlie Miner his friend would be sorely missed.
“We are always there to support each other but we weren’t there for Dave,” he said.
“We didn’t know. It’s just a waste.
“If we can learn by this by learning to identify this in the future, it won’t happen again.”
Mr O’Donnell said he had never seen so many officers at a funeral before and it was a fitting send-off for a “gentle giant”.
“He was one of the nicest guys,” he said. “No one ever had a bad word about him. It didn’t matter whatever you asked of him, he did it. He was one of those coppers he would still be there hours after his shifts, finishing jobs to help others and he wouldn’t even claim overtime.”
The service began with a solemn procession led by police motorbikes and cars travelling down Memorial Drive as officers stood tall on either side of the road with hands held stiffly at their sides.
The vehicles were followed by 12 members of the WA Police Pipe Band who played a selection from the Retreat Slow Marches.
Behind the pipe band, senior police officers marched ahead of the hearse carrying a casket that was flanked by close friends and family members. The procession peeled off into the Kalgoorlie Cemetery where people who could not fit inside the Kalgoorlie Crematorium Chapel stood outside to listen to the service.
During the service the chaplain said the selfless officer must have been facing emotional turmoil before he made the decision to take his own life.
He said the sudden death of Sen. Const. Curtis would have left family, friends and colleagues questioning what they might have done to intervene beforehand, but that they should not be hard on themselves.
A friend of Sen. Const. Curtis, Anita Grace, talked fondly about the officer’s time in Newman.
She said Sen. Const. Curtis was popular with the Martu people in the region and was “a big man with a big smile” who “always had time to chat”.
Superintendent Geoff Stewart who served with Sen. Const. Curtis in Newman said friends and family had been left “stunned” by the tragic news.
“He was a big man and he left a big impact on all of us,” he said.
“It wasn’t only what he did but it was how he held himself. The man had integrity.”
Supt Stewart said a light aircraft crash, which killed four police officers in January 2001 in Newman had left an indelible mark on his former colleague.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, who was also at the service, told the Kalgoorlie Miner the police force was like a family.
“This is unsurprising for me as commissioner to see this demonstrable show of unity, but we are really here to care and support Dave’s immediate family and recognise his service over many, many years,” he said.
“For us it is a touching, sad and sombre moment but it’s very important that we also celebrate his life and give support to his family, friends and colleagues.”