For some, following in the footsteps of their parents is a life-long ambition.
Whether they dream of being a firefighter, neighbourhood officer, or a local area policing commander, some children dream of lacing the same pair of boots as their noble guardians.
For Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Neil Moffatt and Police Constable Grace O’Donnell, this ambition has materialised into a reality.
PSCO Jim re-joined the force to work alongside his son, PSCO Neil, after retiring in 2006.
Jim was honoured as PCSO of the Year back in 2015 and received a Chief Constable’s Commendation, along with two Superintendent’s Commendations for his work across Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Dyfed-Powys Police.
“I’ve been in uniform for 52-years now, I don’t really take it off!” said Jim.
“There’s something special about serving the local community. It is something I cherish now and will no doubt cherish for the years to come.
“I think Neil has always wanted to follow in my footsteps. He wanted to be a part of the police family which I have enjoyed for so many years”.
Jim retired after spells with response, traffic cops and dog-handling, but re-joined Staffordshire Police after Neil passed his basic training in 2008.
They both now patrol the beat as PCSO’s in North Staffordshire.
Jim added: “I think we are both suited to being PCSOs. We have really developed our relationship with the local community and are committed to giving people time and human-interaction, which is our favourite aspect of the role.
“At its core, policing is a social role which relies on face-to-face interaction. PCSOs are about building these connections and trust with the public, which Neil and myself always strive to achieve”.
Similarly, PC Grace O’Donnell realised her lifelong ambition of working alongside her mother, PC Estelle Poultney, who retired on Thursday 21 April – hanging up the boots after 30-years of service.
PC Poultney, who started with the force in January 1993, reminds her daughter to “remember who you are”, as she leaves on her final day.
She said: “It’s important to realise that every single employee at Staffordshire Police, whether they are staff or operational, makes a valuable contribution to the force.
“I value everyone around me and I know Grace does too. I’ve never lost sight of how privileged and fortunate I have been to work with so many fantastic colleagues across my 30-year career.
“I have three children so it was always going to be a law of averages that one of them followed me into policing. I even met my husband when I was training to become an officer in Ryton, so the force is certainly rooted in the family”.
PC Poultney, who previously worked for the Crown Prosecution Service, as well as within neighbourhood policing at Cheadle, Cannock and Tamworth and Crime Justice Support (CJSU) in Lichfield, is due to retire from the force’s Harm Reduction Hub.
She said: “I have always focused on giving support to the victims of crime.
“I was thankful to receive two Chief Constable’s Commendation awards and a Commander’s award recognising my achievements in relation to victim support.
“I have supported those affected by the most serious of crimes, such as murder and rape, both safeguarding their emotional wellbeing and supporting them through the court process.
“Following a nomination from my divisional Commander, I received another award celebrating my involvement in the development of services for victims of domestic abuse”.
Now, after 30-years of policing, Estelle passes the baton to PC O’Donnell.
She added: “I’m retiring with fantastic memories and a sense of pride. I know how great Grace is and I have already seen how positive and welcoming the force has been with her.
“I know she’s going to achieve great things.”
PC O’Donnell, said: “It’s been incredible to work with my mum in Tamworth and see first-hand the influence she has had on so many people – both inside and outside of the force.
“She has taught me so much already and has equipped me for my career in the force, which is hopefully a long and successful one like hers.”
Staffordshire Police is currently recruiting for a number of operational and non-operational roles.