Two Thames Valley Police (U.K.) Sergeants met for the first time in a tent at The Reading Pop Festival in 1973. They agreed that it would be a good idea for Salvation Army Police Officers to meet and share fellowship under one roof. Their names were Paul Hunter and Bob Cameron.
The first meeting took place in Oxford Citadel, England, in February 1974. More than 80 police officers attended from all forces around the UK. The Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police chaired the Saturday evening festival. It was so successful that it was agreed by all in attendance, that they should meet in April each year, thus the Blue Shield was born. Within three years, meetings were taking place twice a year and a weekend ‘campaign’ was the norm. It was always emphasised that the Blue Shield was a Fellowship and not a visiting ‘section’.
In 1978 the Blue Shield went International after promotional literature was sent out to DC’s and Police HQ’s around the globe. The meeting that year was at Wood Green and was attended by the SA General, Arnold Brown.
The Fellowship has campaigned twice in Germany and once in the Channel Islands, also in Isle of Man although that is not strictly ‘international’ but needed a boat or plane journey to get there!
A visit to Australia had been planned but did not materialise. Wouldn’t it be great if that happened in the future?!
In 2012 representation was made and a request tabled, that we included other ‘Blue Light’ Services but as our ‘Constitution’ didn’t permit it we were unable to throw open our membership. Since that time the Membership has been consulted and the ‘Constitution’ re-drafted to include these other services. Although this requires ‘rubber stamping’ by the Salvation Army Policy Team, we are now inviting applicants from the Fire Service, Prison Service and Coast Guard.