23 Nov Chief Constable commends officer for risking their lives to save others
Seven officers have received top honours from the Chief Constable for their dedication to protecting members of the public both on duty and off duty.
Six officers and a former Essex Police officer each received a Chief Constable’s commendation for their life saving acts during a special ceremony at our HQ in Chelmsford today.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “Today is one of the proudest days I have seen as Chief Constable. It’s fantastic to see this brilliant work and give recognition, not just to the officers but to the loved ones that pick up the injured colleagues and look after them after the event. Without the support from their loved ones, our officers would be unable to do the job that they do.
“Mental health is at the heart of so many incidents and the officers here today were unarmed in all of these incidents and they stepped forward to protect the public.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner attended the ceremony, she said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be here to represent the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office today.
“These officers do an extraordinary job in very difficult circumstances and we should be rightly proud as residents of Essex that they go out day in day out and serve us so amazingly well with such bravery. I can’t commend them highly enough.”
Pc Paul Nolan, from Chelmsford, was commended for his quick thinking and dedication whilst saving the life of a woman.
In May 2016, whilst off duty, Paul witnessed a woman acting suspiciously on a bridge over the A12. When he approached the woman calmly, he realised she was unable to speak. He was able to communicate with her by sign language and during 20 minutes of engagement, he established that she had intended to harm herself.
Paul continued to negotiate with the woman to come with him away from the bridge until the arrival of uniformed officers.
During the negotiation with uniformed officers, the woman climbed the barrier of the bridge. Paul had been anticipating this since he began engaging with the woman. He acted quickly and risked his life to climb over the barrier to reach out to the woman and pull her back to safety.
Pc Barry McLean, from Grays, received a commendation for his bravery when protecting members of the public.
In May 2016, whilst off duty and with only 18 weeks service, Barry challenged a man who he had spotted climbing over the fence of a back garden.
Upon challenging him, the man lunged at Barry and stabbed him in the hand and shoulder before making off.
Despite being severely injured and worrying about the safety of others, Barry proceeded to chase the man until he could no longer keep running due to the amount of blood he was losing.
Pc Kelly Ireland, from Braintree, was commended for her bravery and dedication whilst saving the life of a man.
In April 2016, Kelly attended an incident in Witham where a possible burglary was taking place.
She approached the property cautiously and entered the alone when she found a man suffering from mental illness.
Upon seeing Kelly, the man attempted to dive head first out of a window upstairs. Kelly was able to grab the man by his ankles just in the nick of time and hold onto him. Despite injuring herself in the process and the man being over twice her size, Kelly held onto the man until the arrival of assistance. She spoke to him calmly whilst waiting for assistance.
Inspector Martin Somerset-Butler, Ps Katy Major, Pc Stewart Woodley and former Essex Police Officer James Stewart from Southend each received a commendation for their bravery and dedication whilst dealing with an armed man.
In January 2015, the four officers attended a domestic incident where a woman had been barricaded inside her house by her son, who was suffering from mental illness and had armed himself with a kitchen knife.
When they arrived at the scene, the officers were able to gain a view into the property and saw the suspect in the act of attacking his mum with a knife.
Without any regard for their safety, the officers forced entry into the property and were able to disarm and restrain the man without injury.