Working to live not living to work…

123

It’s very nearly a year since I left ‘the job’, a job I’d loved, breathed, lived, hated, sweated for and bled for…and for what? For my last couple of years to be the worst of the lot!

There’ll be no naming and shaming, but those close to me will know who is who and some continue to bang their heads against brick walls still…’head banging caused by some of the same people.

But first, it’s worth taking you back 20 years…

I’d been a dog handler in the RAF and had always thought of going into the police after the RAF time was up. Sadly, I had been medically downgraded in the Air Force due to asthma. I’d never had the bloody thing before I moved to East Anglia, suddenly there was no escape from a tight chest as the outer containment of oil seed rape fields blew their toxic pollen around RAF Wattisham. I only had to look at a yellow field and my chest would tighten. A week of tests at the RAF hospital in Midhurst concluded I did indeed have asthma and would therefore be medically downgraded. So, no promotion, no postings and I’d have to leave at the time I signed up for.

On leaving the RAF I took a job in the Operations Room at Suffolk HQ, answering 999 calls and the like. The regular questions about why hadn’t I joined the police were being asked. I had been told by the MO at Midhurst that the ‘civ pol’ wouldn’t accept me due to the asthma. But, it appeared they were wrong…I made a ridiculous effort on the fitness front, to prove that despite asthma I was fitter and stronger than most.

A career with Suffolk Police began…all I wanted to do was be a dog handler. I would always tag along with any handler that came to jobs and spent at least one rest day a month out on patrol with them. I even applied before I was out of my probation, just to get my interest shown. I helped out as a stooge for a regional police dog trails, I needed them to see how keen I was to get a job.

When the call came, after an interview and assessment, I cried with relief and happiness, the only job I wanted to do for the rest of my service was being offered to me.

Echo 4 Charlie, my call sign, each dog handler had a dedicated call sign and personal issue vehicle. The dogs and vehicle living at home.  A great crime prevention deterrent for me and those living near me.

I won’t lie and say that every single minute of the first 16 or so years were perfect, of course not, but by god they were for the most part bloody good times! Some epic jobs and great results. Plenty of bobbies on the ground to add containment, often A99 in the skies above and when all the pieces of the jigsaw came together it was a 99% strike rate on success.

Then collaboration came, coinciding with a damn fine Sgt leaving for sunnier shores…the combination was the a slippery slope to jumping ship early. A newly promoted Sgt who would point at the three stripes on their shoulder while simultaneously demanding respect…Don’t get me wrong, change can be a good thing, change can be difficult, but not all change is good.

With a combination of a variety of factors the job was certainly not the same as it used to be. A breath of fresh air momentarily came when a new Chief arrived in Suffolk, one that had been my Sgt back in the early days on patrol. In his first week back he came out on patrol…a chance to have a rant about things to someone who I knew could make a difference. Coincidentally or not, two new dog jobs that had been going north then stayed in Suffolk. A breath of fresh air from a hostile invasion…

With three years left to go I downloaded an app to my IPhone, the countdown was on…at any point in my last three years I could tell you the months, days and minutes to when I could leave. I was waiting for 50 and 25 to coincide…50 years old and 25 years service. When those magical lines crossed I could go with a pension, a pension that would see my lump sum reduced by about 75%. I would get about the same per month as I would have got at full service, so the hit on the lump sum was one I was prepared to take…to me loosing £80,000 was a price worth spending.

In my last year I had to have an operation on my left shoulder…it had got to the point where I was unable to raise my arm above the shoulder. So surgery was to be the only fix. After the surgery I was expected to be off work for approximately three months, with the surgeons telling me I would experience pain through till about 6 months and hopefully full recovery within the year.

A month to go till surgery and I received an email telling me I was to be posted into a desk job and I would have both my dogs taken off me! After 19 years on the dog section, I received an email telling me I was loosing my dogs. As you can imagine, the email didn’t exactly leave me skipping through the roses with joy…I was not going to take this laying down. So with federation advice and guidance and, after I’d calmed down, I compiled an email asking for answers to questions the federation suggested I asked.

Do you know what the reply to my email was? Threats!

Specifically, “I suggest you rein it in or your life will get very difficult”.

If ever I had moments when I thought I could do my last years, that threat showed me I was far better off taking the lump sum hit and retiring.

I did have to go and work a few weeks in the desk job, despite a recommendation to the bosses from the Senior Occupational Health Nurse that I shouldn’t. The response she got to her report was a senior officer ringing her up and berating her…no seriously, it was. Shocking to say the least.

I took the three months off after my surgery, actually coming back a couple off weeks earlier than medical advice suggested. During those three months I had been for a couple of weeks rehab at Flint House, the police rehabilitation centre. They had worked wonders on my shoulder and gave it a huge boost in its healing process.

With the help the Federation gave me and not letting myself get walked all over, I was able to complete my last 6 months or so working both my dogs. I wanted to walk away from the job as a dog handler…and I did.

So, with the best part of a year gone things are far more relaxed. Everyone I meet says I look well, am smiling more than they used to see and look generally far more relaxed. The cynic in me thinks they’re blowing smoke up my ass, but I do feel a whole lot better.

I no longer live to work, the pension goes a long way to helping with that for sure, but I now work to live, work to enjoy life a little more, work to pay for my hobbies, work to buy new bikes and new canoes, work to take on adventures and challenges…I work to live.

There is life beyond the job…

#onelife #liveit #tjf

Advertisements

Working to live not living to work…

123

It’s very nearly a year since I left ‘the job’, a job I’d loved, breathed, lived, hated, sweated for and bled for…and for what? For my last couple of years to be the worst of the lot!

There’ll be no naming and shaming, but those close to me will know who is who and some continue to bang their heads against brick walls still…’head banging caused by some of the same people.

But first, it’s worth taking you back 20 years…

I’d been a dog handler in the RAF and had always thought of going into the police after the RAF time was up. Sadly, I had been medically downgraded in the Air Force due to asthma. I’d never had the bloody thing before I moved to East Anglia, suddenly there was no escape from a tight chest as the outer containment of oil seed rape fields blew their toxic pollen around RAF Wattisham. I only had to look at a yellow field and my chest would tighten. A week of tests at the RAF hospital in Midhurst concluded I did indeed have asthma and would therefore be medically downgraded. So, no promotion, no postings and I’d have to leave at the time I signed up for.

On leaving the RAF I took a job in the Operations Room at Suffolk HQ, answering 999 calls and the like. The regular questions about why hadn’t I joined the police were being asked. I had been told by the MO at Midhurst that the ‘civ pol’ wouldn’t accept me due to the asthma. But, it appeared they were wrong…I made a ridiculous effort on the fitness front, to prove that despite asthma I was fitter and stronger than most.

A career with Suffolk Police began…all I wanted to do was be a dog handler. I would always tag along with any handler that came to jobs and spent at least one rest day a month out on patrol with them. I even applied before I was out of my probation, just to get my interest shown. I helped out as a stooge for a regional police dog trails, I needed them to see how keen I was to get a job.

When the call came, after an interview and assessment, I cried with relief and happiness, the only job I wanted to do for the rest of my service was being offered to me.

Echo 4 Charlie, my call sign, each dog handler had a dedicated call sign and personal issue vehicle. The dogs and vehicle living at home.  A great crime prevention deterrent for me and those living near me.

I won’t lie and say that every single minute of the first 16 or so years were perfect, of course not, but by god they were for the most part bloody good times! Some epic jobs and great results. Plenty of bobbies on the ground to add containment, often A99 in the skies above and when all the pieces of the jigsaw came together it was a 99% strike rate on success.

Then collaboration came, coinciding with a damn fine Sgt leaving for sunnier shores…the combination was the a slippery slope to jumping ship early. A newly promoted Sgt who would point at the three stripes on their shoulder while simultaneously demanding respect…Don’t get me wrong, change can be a good thing, change can be difficult, but not all change is good.

With a combination of a variety of factors the job was certainly not the same as it used to be. A breath of fresh air momentarily came when a new Chief arrived in Suffolk, one that had been my Sgt back in the early days on patrol. In his first week back he came out on patrol…a chance to have a rant about things to someone who I knew could make a difference. Coincidentally or not, two new dog jobs that had been going north then stayed in Suffolk. A breath of fresh air from a hostile invasion…

With three years left to go I downloaded an app to my IPhone, the countdown was on…at any point in my last three years I could tell you the months, days and minutes to when I could leave. I was waiting for 50 and 25 to coincide…50 years old and 25 years service. When those magical lines crossed I could go with a pension, a pension that would see my lump sum reduced by about 75%. I would get about the same per month as I would have got at full service, so the hit on the lump sum was one I was prepared to take…to me loosing £80,000 was a price worth spending.

In my last year I had to have an operation on my left shoulder…it had got to the point where I was unable to raise my arm above the shoulder. So surgery was to be the only fix. After the surgery I was expected to be off work for approximately three months, with the surgeons telling me I would experience pain through till about 6 months and hopefully full recovery within the year.

A month to go till surgery and I received an email telling me I was to be posted into a desk job and I would have both my dogs taken off me! After 19 years on the dog section, I received an email telling me I was loosing my dogs. As you can imagine, the email didn’t exactly leave me skipping through the roses with joy…I was not going to take this laying down. So with federation advice and guidance and, after I’d calmed down, I compiled an email asking for answers to questions the federation suggested I asked.

Do you know what the reply to my email was? Threats!

Specifically, “I suggest you rein it in or your life will get very difficult”.

If ever I had moments when I thought I could do my last years, that threat showed me I was far better off taking the lump sum hit and retiring.

I did have to go and work a few weeks in the desk job, despite a recommendation to the bosses from the Senior Occupational Health Nurse that I shouldn’t. The response she got to her report was a senior officer ringing her up and berating her…no seriously, it was. Shocking to say the least.

I took the three months off after my surgery, actually coming back a couple off weeks earlier than medical advice suggested. During those three months I had been for a couple of weeks rehab at Flint House, the police rehabilitation centre. They had worked wonders on my shoulder and gave it a huge boost in its healing process.

With the help the Federation gave me and not letting myself get walked all over, I was able to complete my last 6 months or so working both my dogs. I wanted to walk away from the job as a dog handler…and I did.

So, with the best part of a year gone things are far more relaxed. Everyone I meet says I look well, am smiling more than they used to see and look generally far more relaxed. The cynic in me thinks they’re blowing smoke up my ass, but I do feel a whole lot better.

I no longer live to work, the pension goes a long way to helping with that for sure, but I now work to live, work to enjoy life a little more, work to pay for my hobbies, work to buy new bikes and new canoes, work to take on adventures and challenges…I work to live.

There is life beyond the job…

#onelife #liveit #tjf

Working to live not living to work…

123

It’s very nearly a year since I left ‘the job’, a job I’d loved, breathed, lived, hated, sweated for and bled for…and for what? For my last couple of years to be the worst of the lot!

There’ll be no naming and shaming, but those close to me will know who is who and some continue to bang their heads against brick walls still…’head banging caused by some of the same people.

But first, it’s worth taking you back 20 years…

I’d been a dog handler in the RAF and had always thought of going into the police after the RAF time was up. Sadly, I had been medically downgraded in the Air Force due to asthma. I’d never had the bloody thing before I moved to East Anglia, suddenly there was no escape from a tight chest as the outer containment of oil seed rape fields blew their toxic pollen around RAF Wattisham. I only had to look at a yellow field and my chest would tighten. A week of tests at the RAF hospital in Midhurst concluded I did indeed have asthma and would therefore be medically downgraded. So, no promotion, no postings and I’d have to leave at the time I signed up for.

On leaving the RAF I took a job in the Operations Room at Suffolk HQ, answering 999 calls and the like. The regular questions about why hadn’t I joined the police were being asked. I had been told by the MO at Midhurst that the ‘civ pol’ wouldn’t accept me due to the asthma. But, it appeared they were wrong…I made a ridiculous effort on the fitness front, to prove that despite asthma I was fitter and stronger than most.

A career with Suffolk Police began…all I wanted to do was be a dog handler. I would always tag along with any handler that came to jobs and spent at least one rest day a month out on patrol with them. I even applied before I was out of my probation, just to get my interest shown. I helped out as a stooge for a regional police dog trails, I needed them to see how keen I was to get a job.

When the call came, after an interview and assessment, I cried with relief and happiness, the only job I wanted to do for the rest of my service was being offered to me.

Echo 4 Charlie, my call sign, each dog handler had a dedicated call sign and personal issue vehicle. The dogs and vehicle living at home.  A great crime prevention deterrent for me and those living near me.

I won’t lie and say that every single minute of the first 16 or so years were perfect, of course not, but by god they were for the most part bloody good times! Some epic jobs and great results. Plenty of bobbies on the ground to add containment, often A99 in the skies above and when all the pieces of the jigsaw came together it was a 99% strike rate on success.

Then collaboration came, coinciding with a damn fine Sgt leaving for sunnier shores…the combination was the a slippery slope to jumping ship early. A newly promoted Sgt who would point at the three stripes on their shoulder while simultaneously demanding respect…Don’t get me wrong, change can be a good thing, change can be difficult, but not all change is good.

With a combination of a variety of factors the job was certainly not the same as it used to be. A breath of fresh air momentarily came when a new Chief arrived in Suffolk, one that had been my Sgt back in the early days on patrol. In his first week back he came out on patrol…a chance to have a rant about things to someone who I knew could make a difference. Coincidentally or not, two new dog jobs that had been going north then stayed in Suffolk. A breath of fresh air from a hostile invasion…

With three years left to go I downloaded an app to my IPhone, the countdown was on…at any point in my last three years I could tell you the months, days and minutes to when I could leave. I was waiting for 50 and 25 to coincide…50 years old and 25 years service. When those magical lines crossed I could go with a pension, a pension that would see my lump sum reduced by about 75%. I would get about the same per month as I would have got at full service, so the hit on the lump sum was one I was prepared to take…to me loosing £80,000 was a price worth spending.

In my last year I had to have an operation on my left shoulder…it had got to the point where I was unable to raise my arm above the shoulder. So surgery was to be the only fix. After the surgery I was expected to be off work for approximately three months, with the surgeons telling me I would experience pain through till about 6 months and hopefully full recovery within the year.

A month to go till surgery and I received an email telling me I was to be posted into a desk job and I would have both my dogs taken off me! After 19 years on the dog section, I received an email telling me I was loosing my dogs. As you can imagine, the email didn’t exactly leave me skipping through the roses with joy…I was not going to take this laying down. So with federation advice and guidance and, after I’d calmed down, I compiled an email asking for answers to questions the federation suggested I asked.

Do you know what the reply to my email was? Threats!

Specifically, “I suggest you rein it in or your life will get very difficult”.

If ever I had moments when I thought I could do my last years, that threat showed me I was far better off taking the lump sum hit and retiring.

I did have to go and work a few weeks in the desk job, despite a recommendation to the bosses from the Senior Occupational Health Nurse that I shouldn’t. The response she got to her report was a senior officer ringing her up and berating her…no seriously, it was. Shocking to say the least.

I took the three months off after my surgery, actually coming back a couple off weeks earlier than medical advice suggested. During those three months I had been for a couple of weeks rehab at Flint House, the police rehabilitation centre. They had worked wonders on my shoulder and gave it a huge boost in its healing process.

With the help the Federation gave me and not letting myself get walked all over, I was able to complete my last 6 months or so working both my dogs. I wanted to walk away from the job as a dog handler…and I did.

So, with the best part of a year gone things are far more relaxed. Everyone I meet says I look well, am smiling more than they used to see and look generally far more relaxed. The cynic in me thinks they’re blowing smoke up my ass, but I do feel a whole lot better.

I no longer live to work, the pension goes a long way to helping with that for sure, but I now work to live, work to enjoy life a little more, work to pay for my hobbies, work to buy new bikes and new canoes, work to take on adventures and challenges…I work to live.

There is life beyond the job…

#onelife #liveit #tjf

The start of something good…

IMG_5491

http://www.spokeworx.co.uk

Opening day was a mad rush to get everything ready before we opened the doors!

Cleaning! blimey, so much cleaning and dusting…and to think, we come to work to get away from all that 🙂

9am on Saturday 3rd June, this has really happened.

A dream for Jon and Tyree has come together, nearly 18 months of planning and talking! Neil, the only employee, has flown back from a holiday in Corfu, and with no sleep, gets to the shop in time for opening.

There’s a combined sigh of relief, a moments pause, followed by…”best we get the new coffee machine started” …a caffeine fix is needed to get through the first day.

IMG_5568

It’s a busy first weekend, lots of friends through the door, our first customers, and a steady flow of folk checking out the new venture.

Monday arrives and the town breaks for it’s apparent 3 hour window of lunch breaks. Lots of excited customers, and some great feedback.

There’s also loads of interest in the workshop, from bike commuters working in town, great news for us, and them 🙂

Tuesday and it’s raining all day, pack ups must be the order of the day, as there aren’t many folk walking into town! But Wednesday is great, and there’s a steady flow of visitors through the door.

Thursday – and a chance to have our first ‘Spokeworx’ evening out. There’s a new Ale House opened in Rendlesham, and we’ve been invited to the Grand Opening.

IMG_5505.JPG

Redwald’s Ale House – and plans to make it a start and finish point for some social rides…both Road and Off-Road. Could there be any better place to finish a ride? And, as a new business ourselves, it’s great to be able to support them.

There’s another reason we need to get out on the bikes! and that’s the town centre cake shops! O my! There are some seriously great independent cafes and cake shops in town, we appear to be becoming ‘regulars’ 🙂

FullSizeRender.jpg

That’s a short blog’y update from our first week or so in business…hope you get chance to pop in and say Hi, keep an eye for future blogs, as our journey to ‘bike shop stardom’ continues 🙂

#webuild #wefix #wesell and now #weblog 🙂

 

 

I was the one…a police dog’s tail

I served 20 years as a Police Dog Handler with Suffolk Constabulary, I also served in The Royal Air Force as a dog handler for 5 years…seeing the support for Finn’s Law is overwhelming.

But, it is support that should rightly be there!

Working dogs, whatever their role, offer unreserved, unquestionable duty and commitment…all they ask for in return is love and a big juicy Kong to play with…not necessarily in that order!

I was blown away by the feedback from ‘I was the one…a coppers tale’, so thought I’d try my hand at ‘a police dog’s tail’. So, armed with a fresh mug of coffee and 25 years of dog handling memories, here we go.

‘ I was the one…a police dog’s tail’

I was the one that needed a new home…

I was the one, who when I saw you, tried my hardest to intimidate you with my ferocity…

…after all, it had a worked a month before, when the other handler came…

I was the one, who within minutes, was in your van on my way to a new home…

I was the one who became best friends with you…the first time you threw the Kong 🙂

I was the one, throughout his first initial course, took nearly every new task in his stride…

But…I was the one who just couldn’t quite get the hang of tracking…

Yet I was the one, with the help of a great instructor, you stuck by, where others may have given up…

I was the one you had faith in…

…and I was the one, when the tracking penny finally dropped, passed the course and hit the streets running…

I was the one you had to have eyes in the back of your head for…

I was the one, always switched on, always ready, ever alert…

I was the you could trust to protect you…

I was the one, at the end of a 6ft lead, who would hold back a crowd, desperate to fight, fight with a small group of coppers who were out numbered 10 to 1, but there was no way I was letting you get hurt…

I was the one, you knew you could trust, when at 4am, with no back up available, would attempt to take on 3 armed men…

I was the one, who singled out the biggest and ugliest of the three and at full speed, targeted him high and took him out, like an exocet missile…

I was the one, who held on tight, till you could get the cuffs on…

I was the one you were ever grateful to have by your side…

I was the one, crouched in the shadows, waiting for the burglar to appear…who knew there was no getting away…

I was the one who searched for hours and found the old man, weak, tired, close to death…

I was the one who was just doing what he enjoyed, unaware of the impact he would make on people’s lives…

I was the one who didn’t know the old lady cried with joy and all because of me…

I was the one who didn’t know the burglar cried with pain…and all because of me…

I was the one who chased the suspect into the shadows….out of sight…

…and I was the one, when you heard the ‘aaaaaggghhhhh’, knew had done his job!

I was then one who would sit and wait for you…that bite report had to be written…

I was the one, who knew ‘you must be getting good at those by now’

I was the one who would spend forever trying to find a track…‘they went this way’, we were told…‘they must have gone this way’, we were told…‘o, I thought they went that way’, we were told…

…let’s just go look ourselves Dad…

I was the one who would howl in time with the sirens…I knew something exciting was coming…

I was the one desperate to please, desperate to protect you, desperate to work…

There was not just the one…

There was the one who reminded me of Eeyore, ‘ok, Dad, lets go work, if you say so, ok…’

Yet when there, would work as steady as a steady thing from steadyshire and would never miss a thing…3/4 million quid hidden to a gram of coke…a golf ball size bundle of crack to a single hit in a sock!

There were the one or two, who tried their best, but just weren’t up to the task…

There was the one who tried his best to be brave…but in the end enjoyed the sofa best…

There have been a few, over 25 years of handling…

There was the one you had no choice to leave…he belonged to the military, you left him on a drizzly, cloudy day…why the sun glasses?

There was the one who on the day he moved indoors, felt like he’d always been a pet…

There was the one, who you desperately wanted to keep, yet knew retiring into your home wasn’t the best option, so instead of thinking of yourself, you thought of me…I now work still, but just nice and easy gentle stuff…

There was the other one who, within a day of becoming a pet, also settled in so well…

We were all the ones…all the ones your kids knew, grew up with, shared stories about, showed off to their mates about, loved…unreservedly…

We were all the ones you shed a tear for…

We were all the ones you loved so much…

We were all the ones you trusted…

We were all the ones who never, ever, gave up…

We were all the ones…

Air Dog Ziggy

Air Dog Sultan

PD Feisty

PD Storm

PD Spot

PD Max

PD Max (MKII)

PD Rigsby

Written to support Finn’s Law and in memory of every working dog, serving, retired or sadly no longer with us…thank you for your service.

Please follow the link and sign the petition;

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168678

 

img_0975

I’ve done my time…

I wrote this 4 years ago, it’s been on social media, but previously published by ‘anon’.

I guess it’s only right I add my name to it, now I’m free…There’s nothing contentious about it, you’ll see as you read through.

I’m sure it’s a true reflection of most organisations nowadays.

I remember the old sweats telling me, ‘young’un, the job ain’t what it used to be’!

Never a truer word…even if the actual job is the same, our perception changes, we change, the experiences change us…nothing is ever what it used to be.

 

I’ve done my time…

Where have all the years gone
The black has turned to grey
The aches the pains
The moans and groans
It’s not the same as it used to be…

Fresh faced and keen
Hell fire if anyone dare treat me mean
You’re nicked…you’re nicked
No body armour, no spray
Just old cuffs and a stick
It’s not the same as it used to be…

Days, Lates, Nights…
One week leads to another
Wind or rain, it’s all the same
Walking the beat…
Tired tired feet
Lots of people we’d meet
It’s not the same as it used to be…

Two years of walking
Night time stalking…
To catch the thieves
And keep the peace
Town centre point – that had a point
It’s not the same as it used to be…

Panda…not black and white
Small and slow, a single blue light
Briefing together, working together
Fighting together, watching your back
You knew they were there…
…just around the corner
It’s not the same as it used to be…

Doing…just doing
Not seen to be
No false reassurance
No cups of tea
No ‘honest…believe me’
Just doing the job and DOING
It’s not the same as it used to be…

Racing along the corridors
Slamming, running, smacking the doors
Smack you head
Sod the hat
In the car…blue lights flashing
It’s a race to get out the gate
It’s not the same as it used to be…

As time goes by…
Offices change
Names change
New boss, new ideas…
…better ideas?
Or just ones you’ve seen before?
After all…the years go by
It’s not the same as it used to be…

‘Where is everyone else?’
‘It’ll take more than you’
‘He’ll fight you know’
‘We can’t control him’
‘It is just me, just me, there is no one else’
Fingers crossed, here goes…
It’s not the same as it used to be…

I’ve done my best…
Same can be said for the rest
You’d never know it
Always at fault
Always to blame
That has not changed…
That is the same as it used to be…

So I leave you now
My time is done…
Where have all the damn years gone…
So ponder this thought
As your time goes by
Nothing…is ever what it used to be…

 

‘I was the one…a coppers tale’

I’ve just retired and have written ‘I was the one…a coppers lot’

Please take a moment to read, those of you not job related will have your eyes opened 😉 and those in or ex will, I’m sure relate…

Part of my reason for writing this was to ensure people realised the job that’s done!
Not by me but all those still hard at it! ‘I was the one…’ is for them and their continued dedication and hard work !

🚓🚔🚓🚔🚓🚔🚓🚔🚓🚔🚓

I was the one…a Coppers lot.

I was the one you ran to for help, just weeks after hurling abuse and insults at me…

I was the one you told you would rape my wife and murder my children…

I was the one who risked my life to save yours, after your ‘friends’ ran off and abandoned you…

I was the one who, having been treated at A&E for the onset of hypothermia, went home, changed and came back to finish the shift…

I was the one who spent hours sat, freezing cold, waiting for the burglar to appear to catch him…

I was the one who drove as fast as they could to get to help you, only for you to slag me off for taking so long…

I was the one who spent weeks off with a head injury, after you threw me against a wall…

I was the one who worked the overtime, never getting paid for the first half an hour…

I was the one called out in the middle of the night…

I was the one who told you your loved one had died…

I was the one you thanked for staying, helping…and as I left, you shook my hand, you’d just lost your son, but you still said thank you…and I was the one, who walked back to his car crying…

I was the one who crawled in your mangled wreckage, held your hand and stayed with you till you died…

I was the one, who then had to stand for hours on a road closure and put up with people complaining about the police shutting the road…your blood still on my clothes…

I was the one who held the old ladies hand and reassured her all would be ok, as her husband lay dying beside her…

I was the one who knelt beside you, pumping your heart, trying to keep you alive…

I was the one who looked into your eyes…please live, please live…you were only 14…

I was the one who had to drive home, take his own children in his arms and tell them he loved them with all his heart…

I was the one you told, over and over, that you knew my job better than me…

I was the one who could never win, always at fault, always to blame, always…

I was the one who looked at the child, surrounding by filth, with a dirty, grubby face…your ‘parents’ high as kites…

I was the one, who again drove home, took his own children in his arms and told them he loved them with all his heart…

I was the one you rammed and forced off the road in your stolen car…

I was the one who was strapped and neck braced to the stretcher and carted off to hospital…

I was the one who knew you had just been released from prison, the exact same day, for doing the exact same thing a year before…

I was also the one, who, despite being off duty, would roll around trying to restrain a car thief, while his son called 999…

But…

I was also the one who said ‘Y’ ‘Wanky on the air during a radio check…

I was also the one who called his mate and shouted, ‘Some bastard has just smashed my police car window’ – unaware that his mate had his radio on loud speaker and was talking to a WI group…

I was also the one who stood looking at a white board and wondered with others, who had drawn the big penis…

I was also the one who laughed with his team as the new Sgt was table surfed in briefing…

I was also the one who, again laughed, as the new Sgt, who wasn’t as tall as the old Sgt, used a chair to get the marker pen from the top of the white board…

I was also the one, a week after arriving on his team, was invited on a section night out and welcomed with open arms…

I was also the one who laughed with his mates till he cried…

I was also the one who woke his kids up at 3am, when being called out, to get his dogs from the kennel as he ran around throwing kit on…

I was also the one who would ring his wife at 4am and scream with delight as his dog had just had another success…

I was also the one who drove his police car, dressed as father Christmas, to the delight of families walking through the Thoroughfare…

I was also the one, who when clearing his tray, found a handful of letters of appreciation, from different bosses…

I was also the one who left work for the last time, shook the hands of his friends and realised there had been some really good times…

I was also the one who is happy to admit he shed a tear or three on leaving…

And actually, despite the last few years being completely shit, I was the one who knew that I wouldn’t change any of the last 25 years.

…thank you