Fri, 28 Sep 2018
In the lead up to this year's National Police Memorial Day, Chair John Apter reflects on the importance of the day for families and the police community.
Having previously accompanied families to National Police Memorial Day, I know just how important this day is.
When we lose an officer the impact is wide reaching. The police service is a family and in those dark days we come together to support officers families in their time of need. The National Police Memorial Day is part of that and reassures families that their loved ones will never be forgotten.
I have worked with officers who have died on duty and in service, I think of my colleagues all of the time.
I think of their families learning to live with the emptiness and the pain. I think of their children growing up without a mum or dad, I think of their shift colleagues who mourn the loss of their shift mate privately and with dignity. They are never far from my thoughts and in many cases a constant reminder of the incredibly dangerous and selfless job police officers do to protect the public.
On Sunday we will honour PC David Fields, of South Yorkshire Police, who tragically died responding to an emergency call when his marked police car was involved in a road traffic collision.
PC James ‘Dixie’ Dixon, of Thames Valley Police, who died following a collision on his police motorbike, leaving behind his heavily pregnant wife who has since given birth to a baby boy named in honour of his father.
PC John Alcock, of Grampian Police, who died from complications of injuries received when the marked car he was a passenger in collided with a Land Rover.
And PC Steven Richard Jenkins, of Gwent Police, who was on duty at Alway Police station when he suddenly took unwell and collapsed, he was treated by paramedics but sadly died a short time later.
Though their families and colleagues find comfort in attending National Police Memorial Day there will be many across the country who, for their own reasons are unable to attend. This day is to remember all officers we have lost and to bring comfort to those bereaved families, wherever they may be.
When an officer falls we all feel it. But we are united and we are strong.
We are not just a ‘service’ and working for the police is not just an ‘occupation’ – we are a family and one I am so incredibly proud to be a part of.
© 2018 Police Federation of England & Wales