Essex Police Headquarters was lit up blue on Saturday night, 25 September, to mark National Police Memorial Day.
The event remembers police officers who have been killed or died on duty, demonstrates to the officers’ relatives, friends and colleagues that their sacrifice is not forgotten, and recognises officers’ courage and dedication to duty.
The day was founded in 2004 by retired Sergeant Joe Holness of Kent Police following the death of his colleague Police Constable Jon Odell.
Chief Inspector Terence Balding said:
“This is a significant and important day and an opportunity to understand, reflect and recognise the sacrifices of police officers.
“Over 4,000 police officers have lost their lives since the role was created. We see traumatic events almost every day and this is a time for us to reflect and pay tribute.”
Police Constable Thomas Sanders added: “I’ve been to incidents where colleagues have been seriously injured. I’ve been to one where a colleague has died. We might move on, and the public might move on, but their families and friends will always have to deal with the fact that they’ve lost a loved one.”
Special Sergeant Gareth Fient is one of more than 500 volunteer officers who give up their free time to serve the people of Essex.
He said: “It makes us realise the risks that police officers go through every day. We’re here to keep the public safe and sometimes that means putting our lives on the line. And sometimes that does end in the worst possible way for officers and staff.
“I think it’s important for us to think about that, but I also think that’s important for the public we serve to take that into account as well.
“I think the way you can continue supporting the police through pandemic and post-pandemic is to continue to let us do our job, continue to trust us, continue to call us when you need help and we’ll be there.”