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A PART-TIME police officer was celebrating today after receiving an MBE from the Queen in the New Year Honours List.
Graham Smout, from Netherseal, has been awarded the prestigious accolade following 35 years of voluntary service as a member of the Special Constabulary in Staffordshire.
The 53-year-old, who lives with his wife, Lynda, and their three children – Richard, 21, Victoria, 18, and Bethany, 15 – started as a Special Constable in Burton, where he worked for 22 years, before being promoted to Divisional Officer at Tamworth 13 years ago.
Despite having a full-time job, Mr Smout commits 64 hours a month of his own time to Staffordshire Police and currently mentors 40 Special Constables.
During his service, he has also actively coached more than 100 Special Constables, many of whom have gone on to become regular police officers.
Further testament to his commitment to fighting crime, the force has received many letters of appreciation from members of the public who have received help from Mr Smout.
Despite such an excellent service record, Mr Smout said he was ‘totally shocked’ when he received the letter informing him of the award.
“I actually thought it was a tax return form, so I threw it on the side,” he said. “It’s a good job I decided to open it.
“I just sat there staring at it – I never expected to receive an MBE.
“I am very honoured, but it really is for all the Specials, as we very much work as a team.
“None of this would have been possible without the loving support of my wife and three children. I will celebrate with a bottle of champagne.”
Staffordshire’s Chief Constable Chris Sims said: “Graham’s award is richly deserved.
“It recognises his extraordinary contribution to Staffordshire Police and the communities of Burton and Tamworth over the last 35 years.
“He has voluntarily given his time whilst juggling the demands of a full-time job and family life.”
STAFFORDSHIRE Police Authority’s chairman has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Mike Poulter, who has been a member of the authority for 25 years and its chairman for eight, received the accolade for services to the community of Staffordshire.
John Taylor, leader of Staffordshire County Council of which Councillor Poulter has been a member for almost 30 years, said his Labour colleague had been ‘a terrific servant’.