The bravery of a police officer who gave his life to protect others was remembered at a memorial service in Luton today (Tuesday).
Officers, members of the public and the family and friends of late PC Jon Henry gathered today to mark the 12th anniversary of his death, on the spot where he was killed.
Chief Constable Jon Boutcher and Deputy Chief Constable Garry Forsyth attended to hold two minutes’ silence and lay flowers in his memory at his memorial stone in George Street.
The force flag was also flown at half-mast in tribute to PC Henry.
Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “It was great to see so many people, including those who served with Jon but have since left the force, come and reflect on the sacrifice he gave 12 years ago.
“Jon came to this spot to keep people safe. We will never forget what he did – putting himself in harm’s way to keep his colleagues and the people of Luton safe.
“We will never forget Jon and the ultimate price he paid, and we will always support his family, who we are forever indebted to.”
On 11 June 2007, PC 5584 Jon Henry was brutally murdered in George Street, while responding to a report of a man attacking members of the public with a knife.
PC Henry arrived as the first officer at the scene. He immediately placed himself between the suspect and members of the public to prevent further harm and to effect the arrest of the suspect. He paid the ultimate price that day, when he was stabbed twice sustaining fatal wounds.
He left behind his wife and a daughter who was less than one year old at the time.
Emma Carter from the Police Federation said: “A lot of officers weren’t serving the force at the time of PC Jon Henry’s death, but it is vital that they are all educated about his sacrifice.
“Jon went to work that day like any other officer, he didn’t know what he and his colleagues were going to be faced with. It was an incident that any officer could be called to, and is as much a risk as all members of the police service take each day in order to protect the public.
“Everyone in the force, from our student officers through to our longest serving, must remember Jon and his keep his memory alive.”
PC Henry’s legacy was also remembered at the Force Annual Awards last week, when the PC Jon Henry Shield was awarded to response officer PC Chris Willcox-Cassidy, for this bravery when responding to a domestic incident at which a woman threatened to harm herself with a knife.
PC Chris Willcox-Cassidy single-handedly removed the knife from the woman’s hand while remaining calm and compassionate for her welfare. As well as being awarded the PC Jon Henry Shield for bravery, he has also been invited to attend the National Police Memorial Day commemoration later this year with his partner.
He said: “It makes me feel really proud to be appreciated and recognised for the work I have done in PC Henry’s legacy, which still lives on.
“It is a great honour to be invited to commemorate all of the fallen officers include PC Henry, and I am proud to represent the force in his memory.”