National Police Dog Memorial
Following the tragic and horrific stabbing of a service dog during duty, the West Mercia Police force were ignited with the idea to create something truly unique to honour their operational and specialist police dogs. Nationally, these incredible animals have been serving in forces across the nation for hundreds of years, working hard each and every day to ensure that their communities and police handlers are safe. These dogs are immensely self-sacrificing, often going headfirst into precarious and highly dangerous situations for the ultimate protection of their handlers and our community. It’s a hard one to stomach, but the reality is that these dogs are trained to protect our wellbeing and often do lose their lives or become seriously injured whilst doing it. It is their duty to protect us, and it is our duty to celebrate and appreciate them for their extremely honourable work – which is why we chose to create the National Police Dog Memorial monument.
With the help of local artist, Luke Kite, the memorial was crafted from an array of things that relate to the dog’s lives including training equipment, leads, whistles, dog bowls, apprehended knives, and decommissioned guns. The guns were donated by the West Mercia Police and the blades were left over from the creation of the Knife Angel, collected through knife bank amnesties across the UK through our ‘Save A Life, Surrender Your Knife’ campaign. Additionally, the stainless-steel column of the memorial is equipped to hold over 100 dog ID tags to ensure each life gets the recognition it deserves.
Before the creation of the Police Dog Memorial, there were no memorials within Shropshire and the wider West Mercia region created specifically to honour our national service dogs. The memorial can now be found displayed proudly outside of the West Mercia Police headquarters in Worcester, where it not only recognises all the hard work that our service dogs do but also pays homage to all of the dogs whose lives have been lost.
Many officials were present at the monument’s unveiling in October 2019, including PD Bacca, a now retired West Mercia Police Dog who was stabbed in 2017, and his retired Handler, PC Mike Davey. Also present was Police & Crime Commissioner, John Campion; Assistant Chief Constable, Martin Evans; and Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Tracey Onslow. The unveiling proved to be a fantastic opportunity for notable officials to share words over the incredible loyalty and dedication of our nation’s police dogs and we hope that the statue will continue to honour their service for many decades to come.