Retiring in a global pandemic

Det Chief Supt Mead looks back at a thirty year career at Bedfordshire Police, which started patrolling her home town of Luton before embarking on a Detective career.

Liz is retiring from Head of Crime and Public Protection having worked on several murder, rape, kidnap and serious crime investigations including as a Senior Investigating Officer on the Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (BCH MCU).

Liz launched Bedfordshire Police’s ‘One Punch Kills’ campaign to raise awareness across Bedfordshire’s schools and communities of the devastating impact one punch can have. Liz has received Judge’s Commendations for her investigative ability and has led the force in cultural change, leadership and ethics.

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How do you retire in a pandemic? Where the over whelming feeling is that you should not be leaving, but staying in support of your colleagues?

Not one I can answer, I have offered to stay but it is time for the next chapter. Coronavirus came along and made everything different but the foundations have been set and the contingency plans developed and instigated.

I have worked with the most incredibly dedicated teams to keep the high service of investigating crime and being there for victims, whilst adapting practices, interpreting ever-changing guidelines and making sure all our teams are protected and working as safely as possible. They accept this and go out every day, knowing they are an emergency service, there always has been and always will be an inherent risk in that, especially now.

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I had always wanted to be a police officer, now I’m one in my spare time

Jonathan Behan, known as Jon, volunteers as a Special Constable with Bedfordshire Police alongside his day-job in insurance.

I had always wanted to be a police officer.

At the age of 13, I can remember running to the back door looking at all the police cars going past the house with their blue lights and sirens on.

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Making a difference for people with vulnerabilities

Before becoming a police officer, I worked in contract catering. I had a good, well paid job with prospects. I progressed quickly, working in loss prevention and training, but I really felt something was missing. There was no real motivation to do more, and certainly no daily excitement. 

I felt there had to be something out there that was a more worthwhile use of my time and, I wanted to make a difference. Ask any of my colleagues and they will no doubt tell you a similar story. I think it’s what drives us as people, and makes us better police officers.

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