Arboretum to stage service as part of weekend to support officers’ families.
More than 500 relatives of police officers killed in the line of duty and representatives from forces across the UK will gather for the annual Care of Police Survivors Service of Remembrance on Sunday 20th July.
During the emotional service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the Roll of Honour of the eight police officers and one member of police staff who have died on duty over the last 12 months will be read out.
Those remembered this year will be PCs Shazahan Wadud and Andrew Duncan, of the Metropolitan Police, PCs Tony Collins and Kirsty Nelis and Captain David Traill, all of Police Scotland, DC Adrian Grew, of Kent Police, PC Michael Chapman, of West Midlands Police, PC Mark Murtagh, of Police Scotland, and DC Sharon Garrett, of Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Readings will be given by family members of fallen officers before force representatives lay wreaths to remember the thousands of officers who have died in the line of duty over the years.
The service will be preceded by the arrival of the Lawride, a convoy of police motorcycles, together with the UK Policy Unity Tour, a group of 100 cyclists riding from the Police Memorial in London to the National Memorial Arboretum to remember those who have died and to raise money for the charity.
Survivor Niki Dent, the wife of fallen Met officer PC Chris Dent, who is taking part in the ride, said: “COPS has really helped me to rebuild my life after my husband was killed, so by taking part in the Unity Tour I feel I’m giving something back”.
Every member of the Unity Tour will be riding in memory of a police officer who has died on duty. The riders will all wear a band on their wrist with the name of a fallen officer written on it – and the cyclist will come and meet the relevant survivor and present that band to them at the Arboretum on the Sunday.
Members of the police family are invited to come along to the Arboretum to join in the service at 11.00 am to remember fallen colleagues. The annual weekend is always well attended by chief officers but Care of Police Survivors would love more front line officers to come and show their support – particularly at the Sunday service. A spokesman for the charity said: “Although we are well supported by chief officers and official representatives, our survivors would love to see more officers from all ranks in their uniforms ‘on The Beat’. That sort of visible display of support is priceless and will be a fitting culmination to a weekend of ‘healing, love and life renewed’.”
The Sunday service will be held at the conclusion of a weekend organised by COPS for the families of those officers who have died on duty.
On Saturday morning a group of children of fallen officers will be jumping out of a plane to raise money for the charity. Organiser Vicki Moore, the daughter of fallen officer PC Bryan Moore from Leicestershire, said: “Each of us is immensely proud of the everyday sacrifice our fathers made to protect our streets. In return we wanted to push ourselves to our own limits to show the true bravery our fathers died with.”