Care of Police Survivors (otherwise known as COPS) is a UK registered charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, rebuild their lives. It aims to ensure that survivors have all the help they need to cope with such a tragedy, and that they remain part of the police family.
COPS enables survivors to help survivors. Only another survivor can fully understand what new survivors endure, and that shared experience is the basis for the peer support programme.
COPS aims to build a network of survivors around the UK, developing the capability of having a local survivor as soon as required. The extent of help provided will be controlled by the new survivor. Sometimes an understanding listener is needed. Sometimes more practical help is required. Whatever the need, COPS will be able to put survivors in touch with those who truly understand.
COPS is independent of the police service and was founded in March 2003 by Jim McNulty and Christine Fulton (MBE). Jim was a retired police officer from Strathclyde Police. Christine is the widow of PC Lewis Fulton who was murdered on duty in Glasgow in 1994. Christine’s experience of that tragedy gave her a unique understanding of the overwhelming grief and confusion that is encountered by new survivors. COPS makes contact with the survivors of every new line of duty death, explaining what COPS does and inviting survivors to make contact when they are ready for such support.
Now given the nature of some of the posts I make on this blog, you may be initially surprised to find me supporting this charity. However much I challenge the actions of the police (and I have been very challenging in many ways over the years), no one deserves to lose their life doing their job.
The death of a police officer is a tragedy, but it leaves behind a family and siblings friends etc who have to cope with their loss. This is where UK COPS comes in.