Thanks to Ferndown Rotary Club, Dorset is just a short step away from having its own copper of the year, the first ever in the county. And it could be the precursor to an annual event that Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RIBI) aims to extend to cover the nation.
An initial list of 22 nominees supplied through as many Rotary clubs in the county has already been slimmed down to just 10, with the ten and the top three places to be drawn from them, to be announced at a glittering ‘Oscars’ ceremony to be staged in Bournemouth on Saturday 25 April.
The top three will receive their awards from the Chief Constable for Dorset, Debbie Simpson, and the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill in front of an audience that will include the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset; the Mayors of Bournemouth and Ferndown; Dorset Rotary District Governors, Mike Jackson and Judy Barnard-Jones; plus representatives from the various award sponsors.
All serving Dorset police officers, special constables and PCSOs were eligible for nomination for The Dorset Rotary Police Community Award 2015, which is based on a similar event imported from Australia by retired police officer Paul Hunter, a member of Ferndown Rotary Club.
All nominees were judged against a list of five criteria ranging from ‘displays high standards of professionalism’ to ‘carrying out a significant act of bravery/courage‘.
Speaking of the awards, Derrick Powell, President of Ferndown Rotary Club, said: “We thought it was high time that there was an event that recognised not only the good work done by the police force in Dorset but also the excellence of the people in the force. They are the people who, despite sometimes very difficult and/or dangerous circumstances, provide a very valuable public service that most if not all of us take for granted.
“At the very least, all the Rotary clubs in the county would want this award to become an annual Dorset event, at best we will do all we can to ensure that it progresses to becoming a national one.”