A service was held on Wednesday afternoon (August 18) to officially open the memorial. Chief Constable Jo Shiner was joined by the family and friends of those who have died. Dignitaries in attendance included the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex Susan Pyper, the High Sheriffs of West and East Sussex, Neil Hart and Miles Jenner, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker.
Speaking after the event, Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “It was my privilege to lead the unveiling of the wall, in the presence of family and friends of those who lost their lives either in the line of duty or during their service with Sussex Police.”
“This special service was a commemoration and an opportunity to remember all those from our policing family who are no longer with us – the fallen men and women who gave so much to serve and protect our communities.”
“Our memorial wall is a poignant and permanent way to honour these officers and staff. They will never be forgotten.”
Lord Lieutenant Susan Pyper officially opened the wall and a memorial poem was read, before the names of each person featured on the memorial were recited as a mark of respect to their memory. The ceremony included floral wreaths being laid at the foot of the memorial.
The memorial wall was completed in 2020 and displays the names of each police officer, police staff member and special constable who has died during their service with Sussex Police.
There is also a seating area surrounding the memorial, offering a place for quiet respite and reflection. The wall is set amongst a larger memorial garden space, where East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, who share the headquarters, also honour the memory of their staff who have died.
PCC Katy Bourne said: “It was a moving experience and a privilege to join the unveiling alongside the family, friends and loved ones of those whom it commemorates.
“The memorial wall serves as an emotive, physical tribute to those who have passed in the service of Sussex Police and I am pleased that their loss is being marked and their memories honoured in such a fitting way.”