Essex Police’s Assistant Chief Officer of Specials (ACO) Derek Hopkins has been honoured for services to policing with an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.
ACO Hopkins, aged 62, from Silver End, has been with the force for 34 years.
He said: “I am of course extremely proud and feel honoured to have had my voluntary service recognised in this way.
“I will not say that I have enjoyed every minute of my 34 years’ service with Essex Police Special Constabulary – the role of a Police Officer is often challenging, sometimes traumatic and occasionally dangerous.
“I have however always found it very rewarding and am privileged to play a small part in an organisation that has, at its heart, people who really want to make a difference in their communities often without thanks or recognition for their enthusiasm and dedication.
“I accept the award in the knowledge that it reflects the efforts of all my volunteer colleagues who work tirelessly, fitting their duties around their normal jobs and family lives, to assist full-time colleagues in delivering an enhanced policing service.
“I have worked alongside some fantastic people who have always been prepared to guide me in the right direction.
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues, past and present, for their support and friendship during my time with Essex Police.
“I must also recognise that I would not have been able to devote as much time to volunteering as I have without the unwavering support of my family.
“I had employment requiring me to be on call out of normal hours and as well as my role with Essex Police I have continued a long association as a leader and instructor in Scouting and helped with local fundraising and social groups.
“I know that there have been times when my commitment to volunteering has competed with responsibilities to my family and that my decisions on priorities could sometimes have been different but all of my family have always been very supportive.
“I could not have done it without them!”
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “I am delighted for Derek and his family and extremely grateful for the continued and enduring commitment Derek provides to the force.
“His drive, knowledge and sheer dedication to serving Essex on a voluntary basis is highly recognised.
“Derek has dedicated almost 40 years of his life to voluntarily policing Essex, without any financial reward.
“This is a magnificent achievement which highlights his immense devotion to Essex Police and the public we serve.
“He has made an enormous contribution to the safety of residents of Essex at considerable personal sacrifice.
“His vision and passion for volunteering in the county has set an outstanding example to people both in policing and outside.
“Derek’s commitment to serving the people of this county and his determination in making Essex a safe county is inspiring and I would like to sincerely congratulate him on receiving this MBE.”
Chief Officer Essex Special Constabulary Leon Dias said: “I would like to add my sincere congratulations to Derek on receiving his MBE, this very public recognition of his dedication to policing and is a fitting testament to his 34 years of voluntary service to Essex Police.
“I have worked alongside Derek for the past seven years and his energy, enthusiasm and determination to make a difference within our communities is an inspiration”
ACO Derek Hopkins will attend an official ceremony to be presented with his award in due course.