Former Exmouth and Budleigh officer nominated for lifetime achievement award

Jim Shand (left) receives a certificate to mark his retirement from the force

Jim Shand (left) receives a certificate to mark his retirement from the force - Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

A former Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton police officer has been nominated for a lifetime achievement award in the Control Room Awards 2021. 

Jim Shand, who has worked for the force for 55 years and retires last week, has been named in the shortlist for the Lifetime Achievement Award, along with two other nominees – one from London Fire Brigade and the other from Northumbria Police. 

The aim of the awards is to recognise the extraordinary dedication and selfless service to the public provided by control room heroes across the country. 

Jim, aged 73, joined Devon and Exeter Police in 1966 as a probationary constable, working in Plympton, before moving on to Exmouth, Budleigh and Exeter. 

Later on, he took up different roles in the operations room. 

Having served as a police officer for 30 years, he has worked as a resource deployment officer (RDO) in the control room in Exeter for the last 25 years. 

In his nomination for the award, it outlined some of his qualities that have been valued over his many years of service. 

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Described as a ‘fountain of knowledge’ he has taken many new members of staff under his wing and guided them in the simpler ways to approach the job. 

His experience as an officer has helped to make him an extremely proficient RDO, with his operational knowledge aiding his approach to work and being able to offer advice to colleagues, which he has always been happy to do. 

In nominating Jim for the lifetime award, his colleagues in the Control Room said: “Jim epitomises the phrase 'unsung hero'.  

“There is nothing specific, no one spectacular job he dealt with that gives cause for this nomination.  

“Jim is just a hard-working, reliable member of staff who we have been able to count on in the department for many years, for which he is thoroughly worthy of recognition.  

“His stories of the old days are absolutely fascinating, he is kind and thoughtful, always offering to wash the cups at the end of the day among other things.  

“For this, and many, many other reasons, he will be very sorely missed when he retires.” 

During his career, he experienced many different situations, including working in Derbyshire for 12 weeks during the miners’ strike in the 1980s and dealing with unexpected situations, such as turning a corner in Exmouth to find a roof had slid off a building into the street. 

He also described how the changes in technology over the years had taken a bit of getting used to but by working with colleagues, they had all got to grips with it. 

Jim’s service with the police comes to an end on Sunday 2 May with a night shift before he goes into retirement, which he plans to use to go out walking with his two dogs and taming his garden. 

At a presentation made to him by Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, Jim said: “It has been a privilege working with everyone over the years. It has been a fantastic experience working both here and on the streets. 

“There has been no better crew to work with, from the top, down to this level.” 

The Chief Constable said: “Jim joined the Devon and Exeter Police is 1966 so this is an unparalleled length of service. It is unprecedented. 

“For Jim to be operating in the control room environment after all these years is brilliant. I was three years old and the Prime Minister was only two years old when Jim was first keeping the streets safe. 

“We wish him well in his retirement.” 

Jim’s colleagues nominated him for the lifetime achievement award at the fourth annual APD Control Room Awards which are being staged as a virtual event. 

The awards, organised by APD Communications, will take place on Friday, May 14. 

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