Officer down…..never forgotten.

LWTodays blog is a guest contribution and in my eyes a very important guest.

I have never had that earth shattering radio transmission that is “Officer down.” Whilst we accept that police officer’s will lose their lives on duty, it is a thankfully rare occurrence that a police officer is murdered. Regretfully Mrs Lin Woodward received that very news back end of the 1980’s. Her Husband Ian was shot dead at Chorley in Lancashire.

I feel so very very strong about this. We are a family, not just our colleagues but their families. It is our duty to look after them. COPS the national charity is a well established foundation and one we would all support. It is only when you meet in person, someone who’s life has been so dramatically changed by such an evil event do you begin to understand the invaluable work these charities do.

It was my very great pleasure and privilege to meet Mrs Woodward recently when she visited her husbands unit and she has asked me to post her experience.

As a side issue Mrs Woodward was accompanied by one of Ian’s colleagues. Alan, now retired felt the disappointment of wearing a civilian police pass. Whilst the rank of ex PC does not exist, Alan and indeed Ian were, are and always will be our brothers. Every bit a member of the police family as are we current officers and our families. For one day we will all have to retire and rely on our future colleagues to carry on that torch and our memories.

Mrs Woodward opines:

Today, I was the guest of the motorway police!

A thrilling experience and an emotional one!

My late husband was a Traffic Officer. He was passionate about the work he did and at the time of his death he was a motorway man!
He loved it!

The work was and still is challenging and the officers who patrol the slab are a special breed. Highly qualified in the work that they do.
Driving experts and expert drivers!
My husband was a class one advanced driver of motorcycles, cars and HGV’s. The police force spent a lot of money training him and making him an expert at the job he did.

Today, I saw that nothing has changed in that respect. These officers are highly trained and highly skilled.
Yes, they will pull you over for driving at excessive speed and yes, they will arrest you for drink driving! But, they will also be there to help you, to advise you on how to rejoin the carriage way, to pick up the debris that you drop on their road and to save your life!
They get some stick and they scare us when we see them in the rear view mirror but we have nothing to fear if we follow the rules of their road and our vehicles are roadworthy and legal!

They care very much about the job they do. They care about us the general public and our safety! They work long hours and they grab “refs” when they can! They give of themselves, they suffer the changes and the budget cuts made by the hierarchy and I suspect there is not much more they can give.
They are indeed a special breed of police officer!

My husband was a police officer first and foremost and he did that job 24/7. Hence, when he went to investigate a non – traffic incident on his day off and was shot and killed the police force considered him to be “on duty”!

A plaque to his memory is situated at the motorway post that I visited today, alongside plaques which commemorate two other traffic officers who lost their lives on the slab!

I made some new friends today and I renewed my respect for the officers who work on this long, flat road!
Officers, who risk there lives daily.

Today, I felt part of the police family again! Today was a special day!

Lin Woodward

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