A pair of police officers who have served the police for more than 40 years combined have been recognised for their service in the area.
Tim Tyler, 51, based in South Norfolk, was presented with his long-service medal to mark 20 years with the force last month, while South Norfolk Engagement Officer Jim Squires, 44, will be presented with his in July.
Now in his 21st year of policing, PC Tyler, married to Teresa, formerly in the police, with four children, joined the police aged 30, leaving a job at Colman’s in Norwich.
The first four years of his policing career was spent in Norwich as a patrol officer, and in 2001 he came to South Norfolk – where he has remained ever since, predominantly working at Diss and Harleston.
“Why the police? I honestly don’t know,” he said. “To be honest, I was looking for a long-term career, but never considered the police. I come from an army background – I wasn’t in the army, but my father was for 30-plus years – so I guess there was a bit of me looking for a services–type career, which I would be steered towards.
“The principle of policing for me hasn’t changed, and I don’t want it to change. If a member of the public has a problem, then we go and deal with it.
I got to know Tim and realised that he had the same policing values as me. The job is –and always has been – to serve a communitySouth Norfolk Engagement Officer Jim Squires
“I feel really good about reaching the milestone. When I joined I didn’t have visions of doing ten years and doing something else – this was it.
“To reach 21 years, I have personal pride, without a doubt. And it’s a privilege to have reached this far.”
PC Squires, whose wife Bex is a also serving police officer, told his parents when he was just four-years-old he wanted to drive a ‘jam sandwich’ – a police traffic or patrol car – around the M25.
The father of four joined the special constabulary in Suffolk as an 18-year-old, and joined Norfolk Police when he was 23, first being posted in Great Yarmouth.
In 1999 he moved into road policing, and left that post in 2007, helping to set up the first Safer Neighbourhood Team in Diss.
After five years, he went to Long Stratton as beat manager, before taking over from Mr Tyler in the same post in Harleston.
And last year, he became South Norfolk Engagement Officer – a newly created role.
“Reaching this milestone as a PC is an achievement,” he said.
“I got to know Tim and realised that he had the same policing values as me. The job is –and always has been – to serve a community.
“I can sit here and say I’ve supported people through some really difficult times and I’m still in contact with some of those people.”
PC Squires said his new role was “going well” – and it had been made to give residents a voice.
“Not just in South Norfolk but as a county, we realised as an organisation we were losing that community engagement and hence why my role was created.
“My role is about giving the community the opportunity to have a say on what we do – so if we do something wrong, we need to know we are doing it wrong, and we need to be doing it right.”