I am so saddened to hear of the death yesterday of PC David Rathband who was blinded by Raoul Moat who went on a killing rampage that ultimately targeted the police. It seems that he took his life and left a note to say that he’d lost his sight, lost his job and at Xmas, lost his wife who left him. In an interview with BBC’s Sian Williams in December 2010 he spoke of the terrible nightmares he regularly experienced and how for the first 4.4miles of his run to raise money for the Blue Light Foundation, the charity he founded, he had seen the face of RM the whole way, but his image had finally gone on the day the trial ended.
The police force come under a lot of attack too regularly but I don’t think that enough people appreciate just how dangerous their job is on a daily basis. One moment they can be on a regular shift, the next they can be dead or seriously disabled. My first husband was a traffic officer and I well remember sleepless nights when he was on night shift, and the relief of hearing him come home safely in the morning.
I still have connections with the police force through voluntary chaplaincy and have the greatest admiration for their work. Every day they put their lives on the line to keep our society as safe as possible, a job that is ever more difficult in the face of increasing financial cuts. And every now and again there is a tragedy such as the event that befell PC Rathband. My heart goes out to his colleagues and his family. May he now R.I.P and his legacy of the Blue Light Foundation go from strength to strength.