Two officers awarded for 40 years’ service at Staffordshire Police
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A former lifeguard and a former Police Cadet have been awarded for the 40 years they have given to policing.
Detective Constable Leanne Shepherd and Police Constable Angie Lester, both based in Stafford, embarked on their policing careers 20 years ago and were awarded for their service last month.
Leanne said: “I started my policing career in September 1996 as a young Police Cadet. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to do for a career when I was 16 but I saw an advert in the newspaper for the Cadets and thought it sounded really interesting so I applied not expecting to make it through.
“I was delighted when I found out I was accepted. I loved my time as a Cadet and I knew policing was the career for me. I wanted to help and protect the community and knew it was a challenging but rewarding career.
She added: “Staffordshire Police were not recruiting at the time I should have joined so I started my career in the control room as a call taker until I could join in July 1999.
“I was posted to Cannock police station on the community action team for a few months and then I was nominated for Beat Officer of the Year.”
Leanne now works in the Child Protection and Exploitation Team where she regularly works on sexual abuse cases.
She said: “I always knew that I wanted to help children because they are so vulnerable. I wanted to help put abusers in jail for a long time so I joined the team in 2009.
“I’ve had many rewarding moments but one of them was helping to put an offender behind bars for 20 years after sexual abuse on multiple victims. Receiving letters of thanks from victims is also rewarding and makes me feel proud to be a police officer.”
Police Constable Angie Lester was a full-time lifeguard and swimming teacher but never looked back after she applied when after she was told she would ‘make a good police officer’.
Angela said: “I used to be a full-time lifeguard and swimming teacher. Work sent me on a supervisors’ course at college and the people on the course told me I’d make a good police officer so I looked into it. The rest is history!
“I started at West Midlands Police in 1999 and transferred to Staffordshire in 2004 and worked in response in Stafford. I then joined the roads policing team in 2005 and I’ve been there ever since.
She added: “There’s been so many highlights but one of them has to be the time I stopped a car and saved someone who had been horrifically beaten and kidnapped. I was only six months into the job at the time.
“I attended Crown Court for the first time for the same job and the victim approached us to say how grateful he was. I didn’t even recognise him because his injuries were so bad at the time.”
Angela currently works in the Roads Policing Team where she works as part of the team stopping vehicles and catching those without insurance and other motoring offences.
“Being trained to be an advanced police biker was amazing. Being part of so many amazing jobs and teams over the years has been fantastic. Too many to mention, but all great memories.”
The pair were awarded for their 20 years’ service at a ceremony on 10 March.