North Yorkshire Police’s longest serving Special Constable, Richmond-based Alan Simpson, is due to retire after 46 years of voluntary policing.
He joined York and North East Yorkshire Constabulary after his snooker partner, who was a regular officer and also based at Richmond, nagged him over a period of time. “The next thing I knew was the village bobby turning up at the house with the all the paper work.
“My mum did quite a bit of volunteering for the civil defence and Women’s Voluntary Services at the time, learning how to make soup kitchens out of dustbins and things like that, so I suppose she might have influenced me a bit” he added.
In a press release, the Force explained Simpson was attested in the farmhouse kitchen of the local Justice of the Peace, who he knew well as a neighbouring farmer, and whose son was also a special.
Yes it’s true that I have been in for a long time, but I don’t see myself as being any more worthy than someone who has served ten, fifteen or twenty years in the specials and then subsequently retired or resigned because of personal circumstances.
“I would say that one of the main things that has kept me chipping away over the years was the constant support, help and friendliness of the regular officers who I have had the pleasure of working with. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking them sincerely for the help they have given us all. I am certain that that will continue as it always has done.
I always had a policy of working with all the shifts never favouring one shift over another, consequently it made it very easy to work anytime I liked. I can’t recall a duty I did, no matter how short it was, when I didn’t have back up from the ‘regs’ should it be required, or that I wasn’t thanked for turning out by someone or other before I went home.”
He describes some of his most memorable moments as a Special as ranging from disabling a burglar alarm twenty-five feet up a house gable end that was keeping every one awake at two in the morning, to breaking up numerous fights and brawls outside nightclubs and pubs over the years.
His last day with North Yorkshire Police is 2 February after which he plans to jet off to New Zealand to visit his three brothers. And then, he says he might come back to NYP to do some volunteering!
Inspector Mark Gee of Richmond police, also paid tribute to the officer: “Alan is a true example of all that makes an exemplary Special Constable. He has been a great role model and mentor to both Special Constables and Regular officers and I, alongside my colleagues wish Alan all the very best in retirement.”
If you want to follow in Alan’s footsteps, North Yorkshire Police are now recruiting Special Constables. For more information and to apply visit www.nypspecials.com
Recruitment closes at 9am on 1 February 2016.