Some parting thoughts on my retirement
After 30 years as a serving police officer I retire today and hand over the duties of our local federation to my successor, Alan Bell.I have seen a lot of change in policing over 30 years, much of it over the last 10 years and not all of it for the better. The increased reliance on the police service for all that ails society is beyond compare to the time when I joined. The added pressures are having a significant impact on the well-being of officers and staff which must not be underestimated. There is a fine line between scrutiny of the service and the undermining of it. Police officers must be trusted to make decisions and cannot be expected to second guess everything they do because quite frankly policing is not an exact science. I remain more circumspect of the media and their 'arm chair critics' by knowing the only people who really understand our vocation are those that have done it and continue to do it!
The very nature of policing means that you cannot be expected get it right all of the time as you can only be expected do your best. Over thirty years I have not worked alongside any officer or member of staff that hasn't been dedicated to doing their best for our communities.
I have been proud to serve as a police officer and to have been elected a federation representative and to serve you. The role of a rep in looking out for the very people that deliver policing is vital to their continued well-being and is not a role to be taken lightly. Despite unjust criticism of the Federation on occasion officers continue to become 'fed reps' and selflessly give of their time alongside their policing duties. With federation elections next year I would encourage serving officers to step forward and consider giving the role a chance by becoming a rep. themselves. I leave our local federation in the hands of dedicated and supportive individuals that will do their best for you on a daily basis.
As for me I will continue to support policing following my retirement appreciative of the fact that you continue to do a job like no other, a fact I'll tell anyone else prepared to listen