Members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the extended police family and other partners gathered at an event in Belfast, on Saturday 24th September to mark 100 Years of Policing in Northern Ireland.
The event was held to mark this extraordinary policing milestone and to recognise the contribution of police officers and staff, past and present, to keeping communities across Northern Ireland safer.
Hosted by Chief Constable Simon Byrne, the guests included former Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan and representatives from many of the organisations who work with the extended police family including those who support those who have lost family members and have been injured.
Speaking about the event, Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “This is a very significant milestone in policing in Northern Ireland. As well as celebrating the police officers and staff of the past and present for the contribution they have made and continue to make in their local communities, the event was also about honouring and remembering those who lost their lives or were seriously injured. Their sacrifice, commitment and service must never be forgotten.
“Policing in Northern Ireland has been a vast and extraordinary journey. To say a lot has changed would be an enormous understatement. We now live in times of relative peace thanks to the courage and dedication of many across our society. Along the way, this Police Service took the often thankless task of leading from the front when progress in other areas faltered or stood still.
“Despite the many changes in policing, some things remain the same. It is the enduring character and longstanding, living values of this great policing family that we celebrate. Those values provide an example to the officers and staff of the future to encourage them in the next phase of this Service’s journey with determination, hope and optimism.”
Justice Minister Naomi Long said: “I recognise the invaluable contribution of Police Service of Northern Ireland officers and police staff, past and present, for their service in Northern Ireland in the most unique and challenging of circumstances. This is a significant milestone in policing and an opportunity to honour and remember those who lost their lives or were significantly injured in the service of their communities. I also wish to pay tribute to their families who suffered a great deal during this time.
“The Police Service, working alongside other partners and the policing family, have made great strides in bringing Northern Ireland from a darker to a better and safer place. We shall continue to work together to make our communities safer.”
Doug Garrett, Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, said: “This centenary event provides a time for reflection on policing within our community over the last 100 years and also the journey travelled in our more recent policing history.
“We record our appreciation for the contributions made by so many in their service to the community, and particularly remember those officers who lost their lives or were injured in that service.”