Thirteen officers and staff commended by Chief Constable
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Eleven police officers and two members of police staff have been commended by the Essex Police Chief Constable for their hard work and dedication in protecting the people of Essex, keeping them safe and catching criminals.
The group and their guests were invited to a socially distanced ceremony at the headquarters of Essex Police in Chelmsford, where they were recognised by Chief Constable, Ben-Julian Harrington for their exceptional service to the Essex community.
"These are extraordinary people, doing an extraordinary job and I am delighted that they were able to join me, along with their families, so I could present them with one of the highest awards I can give" said the Chief Constable.
"Our priorities are, and will always continue to be, to help people, keep them safe and catch baddies and today's recipients epitomise the lengths our officers and staff will go to, to ensure that this is the case.
"Whether it's Christie answering that initial call into our Force Control Room; Andrew and Lucinda meticulously working to gather evidence to convict a sexual predator; Sian and her team; Adam, Oliver, Nicola and Chris, not giving up to try and save a person life; Mason putting himself in harm's way to ensure a criminal doesn't escape and can be brought to justice, or Russ making sure that a criminal doesn't profit from any ill-gotten gains - every person plays their part, whether a staff member or officer, in protecting and serving our communities.
"I commend each one of these worthy recipients on their shear bravery, tenacity and professionalism."
DC Russ Chamberlain was commended for his tenacity, professionalism and dedication following his investigation into a prolific burglar who pocketed £1.2million from his crimes by targeting homes and businesses in the Epping Forest and Canvey districts, between December 2015 and June 2017.
Russ' hard work not only led to an eight year prison sentence for the burglar, but also an order to repay almost £295,000 to the victims of his crimes, ensuring a significant financial impacting on a highly organised and sophisticated crime group.
In November 2018, Christie Driver was working in our Force Control Room when she received a call from an extremely distressed man claiming he was in possession of a Samurai sword and threatening to harm members of the public.
Thanks to Christie's calm manner, good decision-making and professionalism, she was able to keep the man on the phone and despite his emotional state, obtained crucial information about where he was. This meant officers were able to get to him quickly, ensuring the safety of himself and others.
"I feel very honoured to be here today" said Christie.
"It can be a pretty tough job sometimes. We never know who is going to be on the other end and what kind of support they will need."
Christie's mum, who attended the event as a guest added:
"We're all so proud of Christie.
"I don't think she quite realises the difference she makes.
"She really is wonderful and it's so nice to see her recognised by the Chief Constable for her work."
Inspector Sian Parry, Sergeants Adam Jarvis, Oliver Herring and Nicola Drake and PC Chris Wentworth, responded to reports that a man and a woman had life threatening injuries at an address in Southend in January 2019.
Unaware that a gun had been used to cause the injuries, the officers were unexpectedly faced with what can only be described as a very traumatic scene.
The woman had sustained catastrophic injuries, but the officers continued to work with paramedics in an effort to save her life.
Both the man and woman were taken to hospital, but sadly, the woman died of her injuries. The man was later convicted of his partner's murder and jailed for life in July 2019.
All five officers have been commended for their bravely, professionalism and decisive action.
"This is a remarkable team of people" said Inspector Sian Parry.
"We were confronted with one of the worst things we would have to deal with in our duties as a police officer, but this didn't stop the team from doing everything we could to try and save the woman's life.
"It's a real honour to receive this commendation from the Chief Constable."
In March 2019, Detective Andrew Humphreys and support officer Lucinda Witney along with another of their detective colleague, were involved in an investigation which resulted in a dangerous sexual predator being sentenced to 29 years in prison.
The professionalism, commitment and resilience shown by Andrew, Lucinda and their colleague throughout the investigation has been acknowledged, with all three receiving recognition for their work.
"It really means a lot to get a commendation from the Chief Constable" said Lucinda.
"To receive acknowledgement for our hard work, especially when an investigation has been particularly harrowing, , is very rewarding."
DC Andy Humphries added: "I feel very proud to get this award, but it really was a team effort.
"It was a very difficult investigation, but we're happy with the final result and the fact that this individual is now paying the price for his actions."
PC Mason Doyle was commended for his bravery, professionalism and determination after he was assaulted by a man who had jumped from a first floor window following the execution of a warrant at an address in Thurrock in May 2019.
Mason ran after and quickly caught the man after attempted to get away. The man became increasingly violent, but despite the risk and injuring to PC Doyle, he continued to detain the man until other officers arrived.
The man was subsequently jailed for the injuries he inflicted on Mason.
"I'm quite proud that my efforts have been recognised by the Command Team, who put me forward for a Chief Constable's Commendation" said the officer.
When things like this happen, it's good to know that we're not just forgotten. It means a lot."
Despite being advised that he could take as much time as he needed before going back to work, Mason returned after just one day:
"I just saw it as one of those things. It happened and then I just got on with my job" he said.
Chair of the Essex Police Federation, Laura Heggie, was also in attendance to congratulate the recipeints. She said:
"It's vitally important to recognise, not just our officers, but our staff too.
"They all do a fantastic job every single day, and a lot of these things can go unnoticed.
"It's days like today, when family and friends also get the opportunity to join in the celebration, which mean a lot to the indviduals, their families, and the wider police family too."