'Inspirational' police officer remembered

Emily CosenzaAAP
Police, family, friends and the public lined the route taken by Joanne Shanahan's funeral cortege.
Camera IconPolice, family, friends and the public lined the route taken by Joanne Shanahan's funeral cortege.

Senior South Australian police officer Joanne Shanahan has been remembered as an inspirational and loving woman in an emotional tribute from family, friends and colleagues.

Her husband Peter Shanahan said he was a lucky man to have spent 36 years of his life with her.

"Jo made everyone feel special, important, supported," he said.

"She welcomed everyone into her life and home, and was always my inspiration."

Chief Superintendent Shanahan, who was killed in a car crash on Anzac Day, was laid to rest on Friday at a service limited by coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Shanahan said it was the saddest but also the proudest day of his life.

"I'm so proud to be a South Australian at this time of uncertainty. To have the state spontaneously and freely honour Joanne is extraordinary."

Son Nicholas Shanahan said his mother was known for helping others and gave sound advice.

"Mum wasn't just a mother to me but to so many people," he said.

"She'd make dinner for 10 just in case we had a few guests call as we almost always did.

"She was the most loving person I've ever met and would say the right thing at the right time."

The 55-year-old joined the force in 1981 and was appointed the inaugural officer in charge of its family and domestic violence branch.

She received a number of national awards, including the Australian Police Medal, the highest policing honour in the country.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said it was clear an endless number of people were inspired and motivated by Supt Shanahan.

He said his friend was an "outstanding advocate for domestic violence", a role model and showed great leadership qualities.

"She was someone who meant so much to so many people," Mr Stevens said.

"Joanne cared about people and that was demonstrated every day, from bringing in a cake to the team to reaching out and supporting those experiencing difficult things at work or at home.

"She was one of a kind and we are lesser for her not being here."

The commissioner also read messages from SA Governor Hieu Van Le, Premier Steven Marshall, Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas and the MFS and CFS chiefs.

Supt. Shanahan's casket was carried into the service by uniformed officers.

Those who were able to attend farewelled the fallen officer by laying a red rose on her casket.

Prior to the service, police and emergency service workers, family, friends and members of the public lined the route taken by the cortege as a sign of respect.

Supt Shanahan died in a three-car collision at Urrbrae on April 25, along with 53-year-old Tania McNeill, the driver of a second car.

The 20-year-old driver of the third car has been charged over the crash.

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