A mural in tribute to an officer killed on duty has been made from more than 20,000 epaulettes and badges donated from around the globe. PC Andrew Harper died in August 2019 while responding to reports of a break-in.
A Northamptonshire Police colleague and friend of mine, PC Stuart Roberts, wanted to pay his respects at the scene, and having arrived on a motorcycle absent flowers, decided to leave an epaulette and a note to the wife of Andrew Harper. From this single epaulette he conceived the idea of creating a memorial for police officers.
PC Roberts said what started out as a memorial for police officers “evolved so quickly” into a tribute for all emergency service workers and those who provide “protective services”, such as prison officers and lifeboat search and rescue. The forensic collision investigator for Northamptonshire Police said:
“We might do different roles, there might even be some kind of rivalry between us historically over the years, but at the end of the day I think the respect between all the agencies and organizations is massive and this seemed to really highlight that.”
The donations then went global and the number of epaulettes reached over 20,000. About 14 ,000 to 16,000 made it into the main mural but every epaulette donated will be used featuring in a variety of smaller pieces of artwork also to be displayed in public venues so that visitors can also see the remarkable tribute.
The 55-foot (17m) long mural celebrates those lost and the work of those in “protective services”, said PC Stuart Roberts.
The artist behind it, Sam Bailey, said: “It makes you realize the risks these people take on a daily basis.”
The mother of PC Andrew Harper and his Stepfather have also visited the mural and to meet the artist Sam Bailey. You can only admire their courage.
The Vancouver Area donation included a Delta full set delivered in person by Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord, a career selection from Ex RCMP Superintendent Doug Maynard (LG President) and Ex RCMP Staff Sergeant Scot Filer (LG CEO) and Former Sheriff Mike McCafferty (LG VP Risk).
The end result is quite incredible and I am already planning to visit the display once it has found it home. It should be seen by many and stand for the ‘togetherness’ that is uniformed service.
Mike Franklin Vice President Risk Management & Community Safety