Northamptonshire Special Constabulary's top officer hangs up his handcuffs after 26 years
Colleagues salute Chief Officer Mike for his 10,000 unpaid hours of dedicated service
The boss of Northamptonshire's Special Constabulary has hung up his handcuffs after nearly 10,000 hours of voluntary police service spread across 26 years.
Mike Maywood started out with Cumbria Constabulary in April 1995 before transferring to Northamptonshire after swapping 'day jobs' for a move south 13 years ago.
Northamptonshire's 'Specials' deliver 80,000 hours of duty a year supporting the community – and more than 300 have gone on to become full-time officers under Mike's command.
Mike said: “Would I recommend joining the Specials? Of course!
"My advice to anyone who is thinking about becoming a special constable – stop thinking about it and just do it! You will never look back.
“I have recently taken on more commitment in my day job and with the Special Constabulary in a reasonably stable and sustainable place, it feels the right time to step away.
“Working alongside Police Sergeant Sue Torrance for the past five years has been brilliant. We’ve had lots of challenges and dealt with them as a team.
"Watching our officers develop, succeed and ultimately grow has been a superb and humbling experience.
“I have had the pleasure of working with some fantastic, dedicated and supportive people – both specials and regulars. And I am especially proud of the number of special constables who have gone on to join the regulars."
“Since I became the lead in 2012, a total of 302 special constables have left us to become regular officers – the majority with our Force, but also some into other forces.”
Mike was posted to Towcester working as part of the response team after moving to the Northants force, was assigned to the Northampton Proactive Team as sergeant a year later and, in 2010, he graduated from the Special Constabulary Leadership training course at the policing college at Ryton.
In 2011, Mike was promoted to Special Inspector and returned to Towcester, then promoted to a new leadership role of Special Superintendent.
He was presented with the Maureen Wilson Memorial Award on behalf of the Special Constabulary in 2012 and finished runner-up at the national Lord Ferrers Award a year later, receiving a certificate of recognition from then Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley and Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner Stephen Mold both thanked Mike for his dedicated served.
Mr Adderley said: “Giving his time for free, for nearly 26 years, to protect the public is highly commendable but to do it with such dignity and flair is remarkable.
“I have really enjoyed working with Mike and Northamptonshire is all the safer from having benefited from his leadership and strategic influence across the Special Constabulary.
“I wish him well for the future and now look forward to carrying on the great work Mike has done with his successor.”
Mr Mold added: “I’m in awe of the contribution which Mike has made to the safety of this county and on behalf of everyone who lives in Northamptonshire, I’d like to thank him for making Northamptonshire Special Constabulary a force to be reckoned with.
“Mike has played a key role for a significant period and over the years he has always pushed for ever better performance. I send my congratulations to Mike on his retirement and thank him again for his years of great leadership.”
■ Anyone interested in joining the Special Constabulary can find more information on the Northamptonshire Police website