POLICE support volunteers and special constables have been honoured in a joint awards ceremony.
Cheshire Constabulary staged the ceremony to recognise volunteers working across the county with assistant chief constable Janette McCormick hosting the event.
Police and crime commissioner John Dwyer opened the ceremony, which was the first of its kind to be held in Cheshire.
He said: “I always find stories about volunteers very powerful when I realise what can be achieved by people who are prepared to give up a little time and energy and give something back to society.
“We heard some amazing stories about people who have gone that little bit further to work as part of the wider policing family in helping to make Cheshire safer.”
As well as honouring the work of volunteers, the event was also used to announce Brian Woodward as the special constabulary chief officer for Cheshire.
Winners included Noel Perry, who is a special constable in the Chester Inner neighbourhood policing team.
He was named joint winner of the student of the year award together with special constable Linsey Bullock.
Volunteers from the Cheshire Museum of Policing in Warrington won the best team award.
All the awards were presented by chief constable David Whatton, who said: “The constabulary has a long history of being supported by volunteers, who bring the public into policing, which in turn builds confidence, transparency and trust.”
The ceremony was organised by community engagement manager Jenny Ford. She said: “We are hoping that the awards will now become an annual event.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback and people obviously enjoyed the evening.”
Commissioner Dwyer has put volunteering at the centre of his policing plans and recently met with the newest intake of special constables.
“These men and women have volunteered to give some of their time to help make Cheshire an even better place to live,” he said.
After training they will have the same powers as regular officers and will work alongside them to keep our streets and our homes safe.
“It is a challenging but rewarding task and I believe the volunteers benefit from learning new skills and broadening their experience.
“I want to see the number of special constables increase and be a valuable part of policing our neighbourhoods.
“They will have local knowledge and, because of that, people will use them as a point of contact when they have issues causing concern.
“They will be invaluable in tackling the type of crime and anti-social behaviour which affects people’s everyday lives.”