I promised I would update you all on my discussions with the Police Federation at Leatherhead with regard to #StandforPaul
The hashtag was originally created to show a mark of respect to Paul. I spent time following Paul on twitter and national media very closely and his workload was immense. It was blatantly clear to me that he was working every hour God sent to ‘stand’ up for you and me, as serving officers and to do his level best to protect the office of constable. It seemed entirely appropriate therefore that if he had stood for us for so long that the least we could do at this sad time would be to ‘stand’ for him.
My thought was to try and rally officers to attend his funeral and line the route as a mark of respect. Such a suggestion always needed to respect the wishes of Paul’s family first. The family have chosen to have a private funeral and as such this will now not go ahead. A memorial service is planned for February 9th at Southwark Cathedral. The Federation HQ are in consultation with the family, the cathedral and the Met with regard to all the arrangements and these are yet to be fully finalised.
The memorial service is a Saturday in the heart of London. The service will essentially be open to all but the cathedral does have finite capacity so you cannot be guaranteed to actually get inside. Federation HQ are coordinating attendance to ensure those closest to Paul can get inside.
If officers or members of the public wish to attend and pay their respects by being outside then essentially there is nothing that can prevent them from doing so. It may be that should sufficient people commit to attending that the service could be relayed outside on speakers but this aspect is presently unconfirmed.
I also have some thoughts about raising funds for Paul’s nominated charity. I have discussed this with Federation HQ and there are considering what can be done.
I am conscious that there is not much firm information in this message but the plans are still in their infancy and should start to be firmed up next week. What would help me and the Federation at the moment is a rough guide on how many people will want to attend IF something can be properly coordinated.
There are many changes progressing in the police service at the moment. I sometimes see the Federation as fighting with one hand tied behind their backs. It is not a level playing field by any means. I would say one thing to you.
Paul McKeever fought for you tirelessly. He was a bone-fide fully paid up member of the police family. He stood for you. Will you now #StandforPaul ?
I know its probably a bit crude but in order for me to gauge how many people want to attend SHOULD we be able to arrange something where the wider police family can show our respect to a true gentleman of the service please do so below.