The chief inspector in charge of coordinating the response to the Watford bomb bank robbery and a detective who helped train Afghan police have both been commended by the constabulary.

An awards ceremony for exceptional and long-standing members of Hertfordshire Constabulary was held at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on Tuesday, July 10.

Chief Constable Andy Bliss began the ceremony paying tribute to Essex Police Constable Ian Dibell, who had been shot while off duty in Clacton the previous day.

The presentations were made by Reverend Canon Paul Bayes, Bishop of Hertford, who praised the unstinting work of officers and police staff.

Among the accolades handed out to police officers, members of staff, colleagues from other forces and a member of the public, was one to Chief Inspector Michael Pryce.

CI Pryce, who lives in Northchurch and works in Hemel Hempstead, received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for his work as part of a bank siege, which took place in Watford in July 2011.

The day began with a call to police saying a member of staff at the Co-Op Bank in Market Street had a bomb attached to his leg.

CI Pryce took command of the incident as overall Silver Command, setting up a cordon and evacuating members of the public. Eventually a man was arrested and the device turned out to be a hoax.

The next award was given to Detective Inspector Paul Watts, who was born in Watford and attended Francis Combe School. He was presented with a Civilian Service Medal for Afghanistan.

DI Watts, 49, who lives in Stotfold and works in Hertford, worked for a year in Afghanistan spread over two six-month tours.

He was deployed as part of a British mission to mentor and train the Afghan Police and helped with the development of police intelligence functions.

After receiving his award he said: "I am extremely honoured to receive this medal in recognition of the work I did. It was a life changing experience. As an ex-serviceman, I knew some of what to expect but nothing prepares you for a war zone."

Two members of the American military team DI Watts worked with were killed by a road side bomb in May 2009.

He added: "Although I knew neither well and had only met one of them briefly, it was a sobering reminder of the sacrifice made by so many in order to bring regional stability to Afghanistan."

Awards were also handed out in recognition for long service.

PC Jon Saunders, 52, from Hitchin, joined Hertfordshire Constabulary in June 1988. During his career he has worked at Hemel Hempstead, Watford, South Oxhey and North Watford.

Special Sergeant Richard Jennings, 49, from Bushey, was honoured for 29 years’ voluntary service. He joined the specials in 1983 and has been based in Watford and the surrounding area.

Acting Special Inspector Andrew Millsop, 52, lives in Leighton Buzzard and became a Special Constable in 2003. He served in Watford until July 1 when he was promoted to Acting Special Inspector for Hertsmere. His award was for nine years’ long service as a special.

DI Watts and three other former servicemen are raising money for the Royal British Legion through the Pedal to Paris event. To sponsor Paul or to find out more, visit NorthBusheyRBLPedaltoParis2012.