Memorial Ribbon Protocol & Criteria
When in Uniform
- No medals or with medal ribbon only: on the right side of the left pocket flap
- With medals on the right side of the left pocket flap (if four medals or more, on the left uniform lapel)
When in Civilian Attire
- On the left suit lapel
- On the left side of jacket, blouse, or shirt
Criteria / Protocol
The protocol of when the Ribbon is worn to honour a Police or Peace Officer who has died while serving their community is as follows:
- The deceased officer must have been a sworn peace officer in Canada and died as a result of an external influence.
- The deceased officer must have been on duty at the time of death, or if off duty, acting in the capacity of a peace officer, or the circumstances leading to the death must have been brought about because of the officer’s official status.
- The deceased officer must have acted in good faith in doing everything that could have been reasonably expected.
- Notwithstanding the above, any set of circumstances which lead to the death of an officer, may be considered.
- The Ribbon is worn from the preceding Monday leading up to and including the last Sunday of September (Police and Peace Officers Memorial Day).
- In the event of an officer’s death on duty, the Ribbon is worn from the time of the officer’s death until their burial / memorial.
Police Officers, Peace Officers, family, friends and anyone who wishes to mourn and illustrate their support may wear the Memorial Ribbon.
Definition of Peace Officer
The definition of a Peace Officer follows that of Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada, but includes only those officers whose principal employment is in law enforcement. Peace Officer includes:
- sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer
- a member of the Correctional Service of Canada who is designated as a peace officer pursuant to Part I of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and a warden, deputy warden, instructor, keeper, jailer, guard and any other officer permanent employee of a prison other than a penitentiary as defined in Part I of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act
- a police officer, police constable, constable, or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or for the service or execution of civil process
- an officer or a person having the powers of a customs or excise officer when performing any duty in the administration of the Customs Act or the Excise Act
- a person designated as a fishery guardian under the Fisheries Act when performing any duties or functions under that Act and a person designated as a fishery officer under the Fisheries Act when performing any duties or functions under that Act or the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act
- officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Forces who are appointed for the purposes of Section 156 of the National Defence Act – members of the Canadian Forces who are employed as Military Police and perform as such on Canadian soil, bases, and detachments (does not pertain to Military Police when performing their duties as soldiers during military exercises, or during an act of war or peace keeping)
The Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Ribbon has gone through very little change since it was created in 1994. It is the blue over black ribbon looped at the top similar to other commemorative ribbons. The blue represents the ‘thin blue line’, that defended by police and peace officers to keep separate anarchy from society. The black represents mourning, that of a loss, as in this case the loss of all police and peace officers who die serving their community. It is pinned with a generic badge emblazoned with a maple leaf. The badge representing all of law enforcement.
The Society is changing the badge slightly by making it a bit larger and emblazing the national Memorial Symbol of the Canadian Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial on Parliament Hill. By including the Memorial Pavilion we are becoming the ‘official’ national symbol of mourning for when an officer is killed in the ‘line of duty’. The badge has only gone through three changes, including this latest one, in an effort to become the ‘official’ National Symbol. The ribbons remain the same. The Ribbon is generic enough to permit all uniformed and plainclothes police and peace officers to wear it. The Ribbon is simple yet smart and respectful.
Although the badge is changing slightly, the Society itself has not changed and will continue to honour and recognize those officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We continue to fulfill our objectives including the Memorial Ribbon Scholarship for the children of fallen officers.