Queen honours Bromley Inspector who cares for families of police officers killed on duty
PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 June 2019
A senior Met Police officer from Bromley has been made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his work caring for families of colleagues killed in the line of duty.
The vital support work Inspector Gary Byfield does has been a catalyst for the recovery of those who have lost of loved ones in such tragic circumstances.
He has been providing emotional and practical support for some 20 years.
It began when he started to accompany families to memorial events both in the UK and the US and helping arrange travel for families who were unable to do so themselves.
Insp Byfield has gone above and beyond in his work.
He has been inspirational in co-founding, growing and participating in the annual Police Unity Tour cycle ride in the UK, where serving police officers, staff and families of fallen officers ride in memory of those killed in the line of duty.
Since its establishment in 2013 he has raised around £500,000 for families in the UK and UKCOPS.
He was honoured as "an exemplary ambassador for UK policing and has been integral in establishing an effective support network between UK families with families from the States who have suffered similar losses, which has been extremely beneficial".
He is a highly respected community policing inspector who has co-ordinated local fundraising activities supported by corporate sponsors against a backdrop of 33 years service with the Metropolitan Police.
Insp Byfield said: "This sort of service came over from the States in the late 90s and I expressed an interest.
"Things have taken off so well now that we may be able to buy a cottage outright in the Lake District to send families to recuperate from their loss.
"I was a dog handler at one time, but realised I wanted to do this. It is important that the families know there is support for them during some difficult and challenging times.
"We have now raised enough money to pay for their break away to memorial events."