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Richard Jennings commended for service to police force
A special sergeant from Bushey has been recognised for 29 years in service with an award.
Richard Jennings, 49, has worked in the specials since 1983.
He was working at Rolls Royce as part of an electrical engineering apprenticeship, when he decided to join the force.
The father-of-two said: "At the time I was looking for a stable future.
"I spent many good years at Rolls Royce, but there were two reasons that drew me to join the police force. I wanted to help the community and I wanted to have potential future employment in case the apprenticeship didn’t work out."
Almost three decades later, Mr Jennings was one of a group of Hertfordshire officers to be commended at an awards ceremony at police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on July 10.
The medal he received for 29 years in service from Chief Constable Andy Bliss and Bishop of Hertford, the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, recognises the hard work and dedication he has shown as a special over the years, helping assist regular police with their duties.
He said: "It’s a great idea to become a special before becoming a regular. It gives a good grounding, not just for the candidate, but for the police too - so they can see how a person is going to behave, to survive in front line duty. You also have the same powers as a regular.
"I opted not to join the regulars as I still wanted to work as an electrician, so I work for the police 40 to 70 hours a month and I also juggle that with being a governor for Sacred Heart School in Bushey.
"In my job for the police, I give special assistance in all areas within the regular force - my team deals with licensing premises and activities in Watford.
"Last year I was involved with assisting public disorder and called upon to reassure members of the public.
"I was involved with the Watford train crash, which was very harrowing. I’ve attended stabbings - in one case I was the one who found the murder weapon, and I was also called upon, along with other officers, to maintain a high profile in Watford, at the time of the London riots.
"It’s an interesting job, no day is the same, but as officers we take it all in our stride."
This is not the first time Mr Jennings has been recognised with an award. After being nominated by his colleagues, he won special of the year, for tackling licensing issues in Watford.
He said: "I was overwhelmed as it was fellow officers that had put me forward.
"Although I’m pleased with my long service award this year, if I’m still doing this in another ten years I’ll get another one. Saying that, I’m surprised I’ve been a special for this long.
"I like to think that I’ve helped the community and that both awards reflect that.
"But it’s all thanks to my fellow officers, these awards aren’t just for me but for them too, reflecting the good work they all do. I’ve had a lot of encouragement from Inspector Mould, so can’t thank him enough either.
"In this job though, you need the support of your family. If it wasn’t for my wife Cathy and my children, I wouldn’t be able to do the job."