The South West Region Special Constabulary and Police Support Volunteer Awards Ceremony took place on Saturday 10 October and saw two members of Dorset Police receive awards in recognition of their dedicated work to policing.
Out of the four awards available, Richard King won the Special Constable of the Year award and Emma West won Police Support Volunteer of the Year for her role as a Horse Watch Volunteer.
Deputy Chief Constable, James Vaughan commented: “I am delighted that two members of Dorset Police have been recognised at these recent awards for their dedication and achievements in volunteering.
“Richard and Emma are highly valued and motivated volunteers and these awards are thoroughly well deserved.
“Volunteers and members of the Special Constabulary provide huge support to Dorset Police by giving up their free time to further enhance the service the Force provides to communities within Dorset. The hard work and commitment that both Richard and Emma have given to Dorset Police cannot be underestimated and it is essential that we continue to recognise and thank them for all their efforts.”
The event was hosted by Devon and Cornwall Police in Exeter and brought together nominees from Dorset Police, Avon and Somerset Police, Wiltshire Police, Gloucestershire Police, Devon and Cornwall Police and the British Transport Police.
As well as Police Support Volunteer of the Year and Special Constable of the Year, there were also awards for Police Support Volunteer Team of the Year, which the Dorset Force Chaplains were nominated for, and the Arthur Ellis Memorial Trophy for Special Constabulary Team of the Year, for which Dorset’s ‘No Excuse’ team was shortlisted.
Special Constable Richard King commented; “Winning the Regional Special Constable of the year award is very humbling and makes me proud of the hard work I have put in, knowing that my colleagues have appreciated it and nominated me.
“I have been a special for eight years and find the role very rewarding. Although at times the role can be demanding, the experiences and skills I have gained, along with being part of the team, make it so worthwhile for the positive impact you can make on the local community.”
Candidates for the awards are nominated by regular officers or police staff colleagues before being shortlisted to face strong competition from the nominees from the six different forces. A regional team including a Chief Officer, a Special Constabulary Chief Officer and a representative of a Police & Crime Commissioner, consider the evidence that was put forward with the nomination, taking into account the impact of the individual’s support work and their positive contribution to policing.
Horse Watch Volunteer Emma West also commented on her win: “I became a Horse Watch volunteer as I felt that the role was positive work that would help people protect their horses and equipment.
“Knowing how enthusiastic some of the volunteers are I am very flattered and grateful to have been awarded as the Regions’ Volunteer of the Year.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill said: “These are prestigious awards and it is right that Richard and Emma should be highly commended for such outstanding achievements.
“The work they do in the community is exceptional and the relationships they are building between the police and community is an inspiration to us all. Their valuable contribution is helping to make our communities safer.”
Special Constabulary recruitment is currently open, visit the Dorset Police website for more information.