A policeman who was fatally shot in northern NSW has been described at his funeral service as a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a police officer and a hero.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, who made the comments, awarded three posthumous medals for courage and valour to the family of Senior Constable David Rixon at the service in Tamworth today.

"It's never easy to say goodbye to someone who meant so much to so many," Mr Scipione told mourners.

"In the fog of a senseless tragedy, this much we know: we have lost a beloved father, son, husband and a friend."


Family friend Ian Mason also delivered a message on behalf of Sen Const Rixon's wife Fiona.

"Even though I am utterly heartbroken that you had to leave us so soon, I feel so privileged and honoured to have been your wife," Mr Mason said.

Sen Const Rixon was shot in the chest and stomach after stopping a car in Lorraine Street, Tamworth, last week.

The man alleged to have shot him, Michael Alan Jacobs, 47, was also shot and remains at Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital.

Mr Scipione told the funeral service that Sen Const Rixon returned fire after being shot and even tried to handcuff Jacobs before collapsing.

The highway patrol officer died a short time later after being rushed to hospital.

His name will be etched onto the police wall of remembrance in Sydney, Mr Scipione said.

The wall, on Art Gallery Road, has around 250 names of police officers who have died in the line of duty.

Dozens of police officers, including Sen Const Rixon's closest colleagues, attended the service at St Paul's Anglican Church.

His wife and six children were also present, along with NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.

A donation appeal for Mr Rixon's family has now reached more than A$200,000, with Mr O'Farrell contributing A$10,000 on behalf of the NSW Government.