11 June 2007, I remember it like it was yesterday. You would think as time moves on it would be harder to recall the day – but you never forget.I was coming on duty at 2pm. Shortly before I was due to leave for work I got a text from a friend saying they had heard a Luton cop had been hurt and asking if I was I ok.
Sky News had a helicopter over Luton.
I then got a call from a friend in the force to say Jon had been stabbed.
I remember turning up at Luton Police Station for duty and it felt really really dark. It was as though all the lights were off.
We all went to the Inspector’s office – he delivered the message to us that we had lost one of our own. A message that you are never ready to hear. We run to danger on a daily basis and put our life on the line. But the message we were delivered is one we never ever want to receive.
It is a moment that will always stay with me.
But we had a job to do, a long 10 hour shift ahead of us and a county to serve. The early turn had quite rightly finished duty early so the workload was high, emotions were high and we had to get our head into the shift.
To this day I don’t know how we did it.
You don’t think about it every day, not anymore. But with recent events in London and the news of another officer killed on duty it all comes back and you find yourself thinking how are they going to carry on.
The public are finally on the police’s side again. Especially in the current climate. They are starting to see the dangers we face, they recognise we will do our best to protect them and they feel gratitude for what we do.
With the cut backs we are exhausted, but we turn up day in, day out without fail to put them first.
The words of one of our officers who started their shift at 2pm the day PC Jon Henry was killed on duty.
On 28 July five of our officers will be taking to the pedals to take part in a 180 mile bike ride in memory of fallen officer PC Jon Henry.
Starting at The Mall in London, the team will be escorted past Parliament by police motorbikes to mark the beginning of this year’s UK Police Unity Tour – ‘riding for those who died’.
Officers from forces across the country will be cycling to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to pay their respects to those officers who are no longer with us.
You can donate by texting BEDS70 to 70070 or visit the JustGiving page
Follow the team’s progress on Instagram @bedsunitytour