The Police Family gathered on Sunday to remember more than 4,000 police officers who have died on duty – and to support family members left behind.
The Annual Care of Police Survivors Service of Remembrance took place at the National Memorial Arboretum in horrendous weather conditions – but that did not stop the service being packed out.
The service was attended by more than 800 people and events took place all weekend for surviving family members.
Chief officers from all UK forces, the Home Office and staff associations were among those who took time to honour fallen officers and lay wreaths. The West Midlands Police band and a piper provided accompanying music.
A succession of speakers – known as Survivors (two sons, a sister and a wife) spoke movingly and with good humour recalling their police officer loved one who had been lost on duty and also importantly of the support the Charity COPS offers family members of deceased police officers.
Officers remembered this year – who had died on duty over the past year – were Special Agent Noel Remagen of the US Secret Service (who died while on deployment in Scotland), PC Joseph Cook, of the Metropolitan Police, PC Daniel Clayton-Drabble and Sgt Kevin Flint, of Thames Valley Police, and Sgt Colin Fox, of the Metropolitan Police.
The Blue Knights motorcyclists – long-time supporters of the Charity – were first to arrive at the soggy service on Sunday.
They were shortly followed by more than 400 cyclists from the Annual Police Unity Tour. The bumper event – with riders starting their journeys now from all across Britain – culminated at the Service and is expected to raise some £200,000 for the Charity.
New President of COPS Gill Marshall said the Charity is “so important.”
She added: “I’ve been involved since 2006 when my husband was killed. We’ve had such great support over the years, both myself and my kids who were 2 and 4 when they lost their dad. So, I guess I’m now in a position to give back.”
“The COPS weekend brings together families from all over the country. We can laugh. We can cry. Nobody will judge you and you are amongst people who know every step of the journey that you’ve been on.”