Cops helps families rebuild shattered lives

Monday, 22 July, 2013

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police and survivors gather to remember at the force tree on ‘The Beat’ at the National Memorial Arboretum

A huge turnout of family survivors and police service representatives from across the United Kingdom gathered to remember family members and police service colleagues who had lost their lives whilst on duty.  The charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS) held their annual Service of Remembrance on ‘The Beat’ at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Sunday 21 July.

This year marked the 10th Anniversary of the formation of the Charity and during the service readings were given by surviving family members, not only in memory of their loved ones, but also highlighting the important role COPS had played in helping them to rebuild their shattered lives.

‘Only a survivor knows how another survivor feels’ said Helen Walker, widow of PC Mac Walker from West Midlands Police who was murdered on duty in 2001.  ‘Everyone supports one another and I know that whatever time of the day or night I can pick up the phone and talk to someone who understands what I’m going through’.  

During the service the Roll of Honour of the 10 officers who lost their lives over the past 12 months was read by COPS President Sue Brace.  Sue said ‘COPS provides a peer support service throughout the United Kingdom, putting survivors in touch with other survivors.’ 

‘COPS is a remarkable charity’ said Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.  ‘Hearing the words of our survivors at this service reinforces the role that COPS has played in helping them to rebuild shattered lives.’ 

Prior the service guests gathered to greet the annual ‘Lawride’ and also the first ever Police Unity Tour, a group of cyclists who had ridden from London, each in memory of an officer, raising funds for the charity.   All wore shirts with the slogan ‘We ride for those who died’, a very poignant reminder.

Survivors were honoured to receive a salute from the Staffordshire Police helicopter as it flew down ‘The Beat’ at the conclusion of the service.

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