Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial Ribbon Society

In 1994, Vancouver Police Officer Shawn Coady learned of the death of Toronto Police Officer Todd Baylis.  Here, he speaks of what hearing the news was like and how The Memorial Ribbon Society was created:

“Cst. Todd Baylis and his partner were attempting to arrest a suspected drug dealer when the suspect shot and killed Cst. Baylis.  The news of his murder made the front page news in Toronto but elsewhere it was just a ‘byline’.  An, ‘Oh, by the way, an officer died last night.’  I thought this was wrong.

Cst. Baylis, and all officers, understand the dangers of our job.  We enter situations most other people would run from, and we know, in the back of our minds, that we may be seriously hurt or killed in our attempt to maintain order within our society.  We train, exercise and practice for the worst case scenarios with the hopes it never happens, but knowing if it does happen, hopefully our training prevents a tragedy.

When Cst. Baylis was killed, there was no way for our police family to mourn him and show support to his family and colleagues. That’s when my wife and I came up with the ribbon concept.

I wore a ribbon to work the day after hearing about Cst. Baylis’ death and was amazed at how many officers and citizens wanted to know more about Cst. Baylis and what the ribbon stood for.  Everyone thought the ribbon idea was a great one, so my wife and I made hundreds more and gave them away at a local funeral for a fallen officer.

Now, the Memorial Ribbon is a national symbol of mourning for the deaths of our police and peace officers, and allows every person in Canada to show their support to the family and friends of our fallen officers and to quietly say, “Thank you.”

Just for averages, Canada loses almost six officers a year. In the last eight years, including 2011 to date, Canada has lost 41 officers.



Sergeant Coady has been a police officer for twenty years, and worked as a correctional officer prior to that.

He is also the President of the Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial Ribbon Society, which is a national charity created to recognize and honour the sacrifices made by the officers killed in the line of duty.

The Memorial Ribbon is a blue over black ribbon, looped at the top (similar to other commemorative ribbons) and pinned in the middle with a generic law enforcement badge.

The blue represents the thin blue line separating our peace and freedoms from chaos and anarchy.

The black represents our mourning at the death of an officer who died protecting our peace and freedoms.

The badge is emblazoned with the maple leaf, which is recognized internationally as a Canadian symbol.

Officers, family, friends and the public wear the Memorial Ribbon from the time of an officer’s death until the officer’s funeral or memorial service.  The ribbon is also worn annually during the last week of September for Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial Week.

For more information on the Memorial Ribbon (including where to purchase one and to see how the money is used for great causes such as the support of grieving families, scholarships etc) and to view the Honour Roll of all the Canadian officers killed in the line of duty since 2002, please visit the Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial Ribbon Society website at www.memorialribbon.com

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