A Merseyside Police Special Constable with 40 years of dedicated service has been awarded the prestigious British Empire Medal (BEM).
In his time as a Special, Don Elliot has helped keep the public safe at a series of historic events including a visit from the Pope, the abandoned Grand National in 1997, and even a Michael Jackson Concert at Aintree.
The BEM is awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown, and in Don’s case for the long term ‘hands-on’ voluntary service he has provided for local communities.
The award highlights the vital role that volunteers play in support of policing, often holding down full-time jobs while giving their free time to make communities safer and enhance the effectiveness of policing across England and Wales.
Special Constables are volunteers who hold the same powers and wear the same uniform as a Regular Constable. They are required to perform a minimum of 16 hours per month and receive regular training to ensure they have the right skills and tools to do the job.
They face the same challenges and work on the frontline of policing alongside their colleagues.
Special Constable Elliot will mark his 40th year as a Special Constable in March 2022, 16 of which was as Chief Inspector for the Wirral Area of Merseyside.
He does this position alongside his job as customer advisor at B&Q in the Building/Hardware department where he is also the Peoples Forum rep for his store and 21 others in the North West.
Don also worked as a Machine Woodworking and Joinery Lecturer at Kirkby College for 35 years during his time as Special Constable.
He is actively involved with the new Special Constabulary recruitment days and attends local schools and universities in the community at careers events and to give students advice on keeping safe. He also attends initiatives developed by Merseyside Police such as helping serve Christmas Dinners for local community pensioners in the area.
During his 16 years as Special Chief Inspector in Wirral he helped around 80 specials join the regular force in Merseyside and other forces.
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said, “I am absolutely delighted that Don’s dedication and significant contribution to policing in Merseyside has been recognised. It is fantastic that he was nominated and received the British Empire Medal.
“Special Constables play a key part in ensuring that Merseyside Police delivers an effective service to our communities whilst giving up their own time to support the force and keep people safe.
“I would like to congratulate Don for all that he has done as he reaches his 40 years of service and thank him for his memorable efforts on behalf of the whole of Merseyside Police.”
Special Constable Don Elliot said, “It was an absolute honour and privilege to be nominated for this prestigious award. To be given this accolade for something that I love, get so much out of and are passionate about is an unbelievable experience.
“I have had many memorable duties including the Pope’s visit to Liverpool in 1982, the Aintree Grand National that was evacuated in 1997, the Michael Jackson concert at Aintree in 1988 and on a sad note the funeral of my ex Special Constable PC Dave Philips in 2015.
“I would like to dedicate this award to all the Special and Regular colleagues who patrol the streets of Merseyside 24/7, 365 days a year keeping our communities safe.”
You can apply to become a Special Constable. To find out more about the volunteering opportunities within Merseyside Police, follow this link: Special Constables | Merseyside Police