by Sandra Allen Lovelace       @SandraALovelace       #WallflowerWomen

November is the Thank Month around here, and our Year of The Blue posts fit right in. We’ve been sharing various aspects of law enforcement to encourage folks to express their respect and gratitude. Our focus will change with the new year, but officers, administration, and staff, supported by their families and friends, will continue their commitment to protect and serve our communities.

The Thames River Police are known as the oldest police force in England, established in 1798. The force joined Robert Peel’s Metropolitan Police in 1839. Their headquarters remains in the original location on Wapping High Street. One might say that shipboard crime in London led to the development of law enforcement in England.

Officers who serve on the water are called water, maritime, or marine police. There are units around the globe, usually part of a larger department. Their main task is to ensure the safety of water users, based on education and enforcement, along with search and rescue. Increasingly, their duty addresses criminal activities—narcotics and smuggling, investigation and apprehension.

Since their environment includes ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans, their equipment and training are specialized. Water craft from small to large with all the related gear, and certificates in boat operation and scuba diving are among the basics. However, each unit responds to the needs of their own community.

A maritime officer is a special breed. In addition to the character, education, and training standards of other candidates, he or she must understand and manage all the aspects of their aquatic environment with courage, confidence, and skill. The challenges are real and complex.

Thanking maritime officers is easy enough, if you find them on a dock or on shore. The same strategy we suggested at the outset of our campaign will hold you in good stead. If you’re out on the water, you might approach slowly and hail your appreciation with a smile and wave. “Thank you for wearing The Blue. I’m grateful you’re out here today.”

Thames River Police – more information about this historic yet modern organization

Virginia Marine Police  – an overview of an active marine unit

Kenya Maritime Police Unit – information about functions and history

Marine Police Officers Careers  – job description and training requirements

Marine Police Officer Job Search  – an employment board

I grew up on the water and have a deep appreciation for the work of maritime officers.
Next month our final Year of The Blue article will sport some personal photos. See you there.



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