School boy joins Chief as special guest at parade for school project
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A school pupil from a primary school in Tiptree joined Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington at Essex Police Headquarters on Friday 24 January, as his special guest at the force's first passing out ceremony of 2020.
Cameron, who is 11-years-old and attends St. Luke's Church Primary School, wrote to the Chief Constable as part on his Community Challenge Award school project, where he was tasked with researching a person or place in Essex.
Cameron chose to write his report on the Essex Police Chief as he has a keen interest in the police service due to his family's historical and more recent connections with the force.
Cameron's great-grandfather was a police constable in Essex between 1936 and 1966, joining the force at the age of 18 as PC 132, serving the communities of Romford, Hornchurch and Tilbury. At the start of the Second World War he joined the RAF, getting his flying certificate and becoming a second pilot and flying engineer on the Lancaster bomber planes.
He return to his post in Tilbury following the end of the war and was given a new collar number, becoming PC 328. He was posted to Coggeshall in 1954, where he stayed for the remainder of his career, living in the police house and retiring after 30 years of service in 1966.
Cameron's mum, Kirsty, followed in her grandfather's footsteps and joined the force's IT department as a software developer almost 16 years ago.
Chief Constable Harrington invited Cameron to join him as an 'Honorary Deputy Parade Inspector' at a passing out parade which saw 68 student police officers take part in a ceremony which marked the completion of 18-weeks of intensive training and officially pledging their commitment to protect and serve the residents of Essex.
Cameron assisted the Chief Constable with inspecting the new recruits and congratulating them on their achievement.
The parade was followed by a celebratory reception, where family and friends joined the newly passed out officers to commend them on their hard work and dedication and wish them every success in their new role as Essex Police Officers.
Cameron got the opportunity to ask the Chief Constable a few questions about policing in Essex and how he thought it had changed since the 1950s when Cameron's great-grandfather has patrolled the streets of Coggeshall.
"We deal with a lot of the same challenges and difficulties today as officers would have then, but we also deal with new threats too, such as crimes committed online" said Mr Harrington.
"But the core principles of policing have remained the same.
"We help people, we keep people safe and we catch criminals."
When Cameron was asked if he would like to become a police officer, he considered his response and coyly replied "It depends" saying if he were to join the force, he would like to be a dog handler.
Essex has always been a great place to live and work and our police force gives people the chance to have a career where you can save lives, lock up criminals, deliver justice to victims and really make a difference to our communities.
"Welcoming our new recruits is one of the favourite parts of my job" the Chief Constable told Cameron.
"It's an honour for me to congratulate another 68 new police constables into the Essex Police family and I was delighted to have 11-year-old Cameron assisting me with my duties today.
"Perhaps we will see him back here in a few years, passing out as a new Essex Police Officer."
Cameron was presented with a letter from the Chief Constable along with Essex Police epaulettes with his great grandfather's police numbers on them.
We are currently recruiting police officers. To find out more about starting your journey with us, joining our police family and helping to keep Essex safe, visit our website: www.essex.police.uk/fitthebill