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COPS - Annual Service of Remembrance

"Events like this renew my belief that we do an amazing and often selfless job"

Police officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice - and their surviving family members - have been remembered at the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) Annual Service of Remembrance.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered at the National Memorial Arboretum on Sunday 31 July to pay respects to officers who have died on duty. The service in Staffordshire - bathed in sunshine - was attended by more than 750 people.

Attendees from Hampshire included Deputy Chief Constable Sarah Glen and Sgt Louise Coughlin.

DCC Glen said it was a "hugely humbling witnessing at first hand the ultimate sacrifice officers and their families make to keep the public safe from harm."

She added: "Many of the testimonies today were from the child's perspective. Whilst they of course recognised the heroic acts of their parents, their loss was palpable of their parent who had been taken too soon.

"Their courage and will to support others in their time of loss is a character trait I greatly admire, my thoughts and prayers are very much with the families of COPS.

"It is blatantly apparent the support and connection to the police family is vital and the work that the care of police survivors delivers is so important."

Sgt Coughlin said: "Over the past few years I have been privileged to be involved in the COPS Service of Remembrance and also National Police Week in Washington DC and the shared passion we have for being there is evident in the care and compassion shown for colleagues and their families.

"It is events like this that renew my belief in the fact that we do an amazing and often selfless job and we all have a common desire to help and support others which also extends to our own Police Family.

"When meeting the families who have been helped by COPS it is clear that their support is priceless, but that they also find some comfort in the fact that they remain part of the Police family and serving officers support events such as this."

Events took place all weekend for surviving family members.

During a shortened 40 minute service on Sunday, survivors - a daughter, two sons and a wife - remembered their lost loved ones and talked about how the COPS charity benefits them.

The Roll of Honour for the three police officers who have died on duty during the past 12 months was read out by COPS President Denis Gunn.

Those remembered this year were PC David Phillips, of Merseyside Police; PC Sahib Lalli, of the Met; and PC Dougie Wiggins, of Police Scotland.

PC David Phillips's family were in attendance.

A minute's silence was held to remember all police officers who have died on duty.

More here www.copsnews.co.uk/?p=901

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