Royston Martis reflects on seven days of sacrifice â€“ and their impact on the wider law enforcement family.
Across the UK, this family, at times dysfunctional, has empathy of the pains, perils and predicaments that all the countryâ€™s officers and staff go through on a regular basis.
There are thousands of serving and retired officers in this family â€“ plus their parents, siblings and children. And like any other family, when one member hurts, they all hurt.
This has been clearly demonstrated in the last seven days â€“ which has been a week like no other in a job like no other.
It began in the worst possible way with news on November 29 that a police helicopter had crashed into a pub in Glasgow, killing nine people, including the pilot and two officers.
Sir Stephen House, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, was clearly emotional as he told reporters of the tragic loss of pilot David Traill (51) and PCs Kirsty Nelis (36) and 43-year-old Tony Collins. During his statement, he used the phrase â€œour teamâ€.
The Scottish Police Federation summed it up too: â€œFamilies have lost loved ones. Colleagues have lost friends. The service has lost great officers and Scotland has lost dedicated public servants.â€
Then on Saturday, November 30, Thames Valley PC Gareth Browning (33) was on foot patrol when he was struck by a vehicle he was attempting to stop and left in a critical condition. He remains in hospital.
The thoughts of the police family remain with him and wish him a full recovery.
The bad news was to continue. In London on Monday, December 2, a man shot at unarmed Met officers in their marked police car. Thankfully, the officers were not injured.
The entire police family was left thinking of previous shootings of officers â€“ sadly too many to mention â€“ with the grim realisation that â€œit could have been much worseâ€.
Sadly it was â€“ just the following day.
In the early hours of December 4 a West Yorkshire Police officer received serious injuries after being shot when she and a colleague attended the scene of a domestic disturbance.
As this story went live she remained in hospital. Once again everyone in the police family is thinking of her and wishing her a swift recovery.
Last â€“ but by no means least â€“ let us not forget officers in Northern Ireland who are under constant attack with injuries all too common. On November 30 two officers were injured during a loyalist protest march in Belfast â€“ one was knocked unconscious.
I have been involved in policing for a long time. This truly has been a week like no other.
At this time, we should all spare a thought for all officers and staff in the individual forces concerned â€“ and across the UK â€“ who have to carry on policing and keeping people safe after news of devastating deaths or grave injuries to colleagues.
What this past week has reminded us all is that as well as being part of the UK police family, officers and staff have real families.
And they deserve to come home to them after every shift.
Policing and a week like no other