COPS well represented at America’s National Police Week

Posted on June 5, 2014 | Category :Uncategorized | No Comments

Police week 4

A GROUP of this country’s COPS survivors made the trip to Washington DC in America to mark the country’s National Police Week, writes Stu McAllister.

This is the time in May when US Law Enforcement gathers to remember their fallen officers, and police survivors attend the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to see their loved-ones name engraved on the Wall.

Our sister organisation, Concerns Of Police Survivors C.O.P.S., hosts hundreds of survivors in Alexandria, Virginia, providing seminars, workshops and entertainment between Police Week events.

During a 30th Anniversary Dinner, our co-founder Jim McNulty was inducted into C.O.P.S. Hall of fame, an honour indeed and recognition of the close ties between our two organisations.

The Police Week schedule began with a 5k Fallen Heroes charity run which included a group of the ‘Bobbies at Police Week’ contingent. This group of UK officers have been involved in various fundraising events for COPS in the UK and C.O.P.S. whilst in the US. Christine Fulton, UK COPS co-founder, was on hand to welcome them across the finish line and congratulate them on their efforts.

The Law Ride followed on the Sunday, with both on-duty officers and Law Enforcement motorcycle clubs well represented. The Blue Knights were much in evidence at this must see event.

Our UK Survivors were in Judiciary Square the next day for the arrival of the Police Unity Tour which included COPS Trustee Rob Atkin, survivors Jo Hill, riding and Julie Townsend in the support crew. Long time COPS supporters & Police Unity Tour-UK members Gary Byfield and Lee Howes (Met) also rode in the tour.

Not to be missed was the emotional Candlelight Vigil at the Memorial, held in Judiciary Square, where the survivors are escorted by officers from around the US and even from around the world. It was held on the Tuesday and this year we spotted Canadian, German and, of course, our own ‘Bobbies’ contingent escorting survivors and providing a Guard of Honour.

The ceremony was delayed due to a thunder storm but, never ones to be put off by a spot of rain; the UK Survivors stuck it out and made it back to our hotel very late.

National Police Officers Memorial Day is the 15th May and is marked by a service on the West Lawn of the US Capitol, usually addressed by the President of the United States. The new survivors place a red carnation in a wreath during the ceremony, which is then taken to the Memorial where an Honor Guard is mounted until midnight. Flags all over the country were lowered for the day and the Empire State building in New York was even lit up blue to honour fallen officers.

Our UK survivors were treated to a number of exclusive visits whilst in DC, including the FBI Academy at Quantico, a private tour of the US Capitol building and the obligatory visit to the lovingly restored Presidential yacht, the USS Sequoia. Thanks to Sue Bishop for organising the outings and to all those who helped make them so special.

The week finished with the traditional picnic on the patio at the survivor hotel. After all the emotion of the week it is a delightful way to wind down with BBQ food and entertainment for the children.

We were delighted to be able to renew friendships with US C.O.P.S. throughout the week, and to meet new survivors who have only recently joined the C.O.P.S. family; we know they are in good hands.

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