A team of Wiltshire Police officers is in training to cycle 180 miles from London to Staffordshire to raise money for the Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
Chief Constable Mike Veale will be joined by PC Pete Tuite and PC Tracy Davies for the three-day event, which will see hundreds of riders from across the country coming together to make the journey from the National Police Memorial in the capital to the National Memorial Arboretum in Lichfield.
They will arrive at the arboretum to take part in the COPS 2016 Memorial Service on Sunday 31 July.
Mr Veale said: “COPS is a registered charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have died on duty, rebuild their lives.
“It aims to ensure that survivors have all the help they need to cope with such a tragedy, and that they remain part of the police family.
“I have ridden once before and found the whole experience physically and emotionally draining. The Memorial Service to celebrate and commemorate our fallen colleagues at the end of the cycle is incredibly moving and has a profound effect on me every time I attend.
“This year’s challenge has been made so much more important because the dangers we face as police staff and officers are becoming ever more real. The recent tragedies involving officers both here and abroad, staff and other public servants have made the dangers we face more vivid and horrifying than ever before.
“This has inspired me to make this small personal commitment and contribution to this incredibly worthwhile cause.”
Wiltshire Police recently held its Force awards ceremony, which included the presentation of the Dan Cooper Award.
PC Cooper was an officer who tragically died on duty while responding to one of the many incidents he attended during his career with the police service in Wiltshire.
His wonderful parents courageously attended the ceremony to personally present his award to PC Thomas Carver. Their presence was so much appreciated and this award helps to keep Dan’s memory alive.
However it also provides us with a stark reminder of the personal risks all our staff and officers take in their duty to serve the public.
Mr Veale added: “We live, socialise and work in one of the safest counties in the country, in one of the safest countries in the world; which I believe is largely due to the fantastic dedication and commitment of our fantastic officers and staff who work tirelessly to keep people safe.
“But we know as members of the police service that there is a cost for such safety. There are many sacrifices made – large and small – to ensure the security of our communities. Since 1990, 358 police officers across Great Britain have lost their lives whilst on duty, and five of those have been from Wiltshire.
“This momentous cycle ride is a time to reflect upon every single person who has tragically lost their lives protecting us in the line of duty.
“On most days, our public never know what our officers and members of staff do on their behalf, but it is clear the policing landscape is far more complex, more litigious and quite simply more dangerous than ever before.”
Anyone who would like to support this cause can donate money by visiting his justgiving page.