The lead chaplain of Dyfed Powys Police said he was “honoured and privileged” to deliver the address at this year’s National Police Memorial Day.
Father Liam Bradley said the death of Dyfed Powys Police officer Gareth Earp in June made the occasion even more significant for him.
He said: “It was a great honour and a real privilege to be asked.
"We lost one of our own officers earlier in the year, Inspector Gareth Earp, which made it all the more poignant.
The lead chaplain of Dyfed Powys Police, Father Liam Bradley.
“It’s great as a police family we can come together to honour those who have fallen in the course of their duties and to pay them due respect, and also to support families, friends and those who are grieving to show they are not forgotten and their lives were important because they made a difference.
“It’s not something that’s widely known outside of the policing community, which kind of makes it all the more special.
“It’s a place where we can reflect among ourselves and give each other that support inside the police family.”
Father Liam said he wanted his address to honour those who have died, to challenge people to try harder, and to give senior politicians a clearer understanding of the challenges in policing.
“It took me a few hours to sit down and collect my thoughts, to pray about it, to look at the order of service and what other people might have been saying so I could get the right tone and share what I wanted to say,” he said.
“I tried to bring those themes in, how we all strive for perfection in what we do, and sometimes that calls for us to make the ultimate sacrifice and that might happen to any of us at any time in the future.
“It’s important guests, such as the Government and First Minister, are invited to share in that so they can understand where policing is coming from, from the heart of policing where it matters the most and that’s from the people involved in it.
“This is a way that I, in my ministry, can reflect something of policing to those people in power so they better understand what it’s like on the frontline and what it’s like in policing.”
In his day-to-day role, Father Liam, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Menevia, combines his role with Dyfed Powys Police with working for the Hywel Dda Health Board as a hospital chaplain.
“I offer pastoral and spiritual support to officers and staff,” he said. “I am a connection between faith communities and policing across west Wales.”
I also advise the Force in terms of its ethical structures, and in planning and contingency for major incidents.
“My day-to-day work is supporting a team of 10 other chaplains who work across the Force area offering day-to-day support, care, pastoral and spiritual guidance to police officers and staff from all faith backgrounds and none.
“When I meet with new officers when they first start, I ask them what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning.
“Animate is from the Latin word to be spirit filled, so I ask what animates them? What spirit is within you? What motivates you to go out and commit yourself to upholding justice, supporting the vulnerable and detaining the aggressor.
“I think that spirit of policing is in everyone and I try to chime in with that and allow it to grow and flourish.”