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In the past 180 years in the United Kingdom, more than 5,000 police officers have died while on duty. This great sacrifice often went unnoticed without much attention until the National Police Memorial Day was founded. 

History of National Police Memorial Day

National Police Memorial Day (NPMD) was originally celebrated in the United Kingdom in 2004 when it was started as a charity to commemorate police officers who have died or been killed on duty. The exact date of the event varies as it is always scheduled to be observed near St. Michael’s Day, who was the Patron Saint of Policing, making it land on the closest Sunday to September 29.

The influence behind the founding of this day was Inspector Joe Holness QPM OBE, in response to the brutal killing of his colleague in December 2000, Kent police officer Jon Odell. The hope behind National Police Memorial Day is that the event would serve as an opportunity to remember and honor the courage and sacrifice of police officers throughout the country. The charity is supported by patron King Charles III, as well as the UK government and the UK police services.

Each year, a special church service is held in honor of National Police Memorial Day, with the location rotating each year between the four countries in the UK. The inaugural service in 2003 was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, changing cities and countries for subsequent years.

How to Observe National Police Memorial Day

Get involved with honoring the memory of those police officers who have fallen by observing National Police Memorial Day with some of these activities:

Attend the National Police Memorial Day Service

People who have lost a loved one or who simply choose to show respect for fallen police officers may want to observe the day by attending the official church gathering. It is necessary to register at the NPMD website and more details about location, time, and more can be found there.  

Those who are not able to attend in person can still get involved by connecting through different videos from past years’ services that are also available on the National Police Memorial Day website.

Remember a Police Officer

Folks who had a family member, friend or community member that was a police officer and died or was killed in the line of duty can set aside some time today to remember. This might include visiting the cemetery where they are buried, enjoy looking through some old photo albums, composing a poem or letter, or finding some other significant way to show respect and appreciation in honor of National Police Memorial Day.

Make a Donation to National Police Memorial Day

Those who are interested in helping with financial support for the charity as part of the observance of National Police Memorial Day can make a difference by making a donation to this or another police support charity. Those who make a one time or monthly donation through the NPMD website can leave a note on the page in memory of a special person. 

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