Warwick Special says ‘Best thing I’ve ever done’

Special Constable Glyn Gardner, aged 73, retiring from the voluntary force.
Special Constable Glyn Gardner, aged 73, retiring from the voluntary force.

Being a Special Constable has been the most rewarding job Glyn Gardner has every had.

And he should know, he’s been volunteering with the Warwickshire force for the past 44 years, working alongside eight Chief Constables.

Now at the age of 73, he is retiring from the county’s Special Constabulary where he holds the equivalent rank of Special Chief Officer.

Glyn first signed on as a Special in October, 1970, and after four years volunteering in Leamington he was promoted to Special Sergeant before going on to become Special Inspector at Warwick.

In 1984 he became the sub-divisional Commandant for the Warwick area. He was appointed Special Deputy Chief Officer in 1990.

Glyn was introduced to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh when he represented the Specials at the official opening of the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington in 2011.

And he says the pinnacle of his voluntary career came a year later when he was made an MBE for his services to policing.

Throughout most of the years he also carried on with his “day job” as a resource controller in the utility industry, until he retired in 2001.

Glyn said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Special Constabulary and am immensely proud of what we have achieved together.

“It’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done - I’ve met so many different people and learnt so many different skills that I would never have had the opportunity to do had I not joined up all those years ago.”

Glyn hopes more people will support local policing by volunteering to become part-time Specials in the future.

At a retirement ceremony, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball wished not only Glyn, but also Special Deputy Chief Officer John Mills well in their retirement.

Mr Mills, aged 66, of Rugby, had served for more than 25 years and been heavily involved in events like the Bulldog Bash, Global Gathering and policing at the Ryder Cup.

Mr Ball said: “As a society we all benefit from the efforts of volunteers and being a member of the Special Constabulary is probably the most extreme form of volunteering that I can think of.”

Chief Constable Andy Parker said: “On behalf of Warwickshire Police and the Special Constabulary I would like to thank both Glyn and John for their years of exemplary leadership and significant contributions to protecting people from harm in Warwickshire.

“I am humbled by their achievements as volunteers and privileged to have worked alongside them both for many years. I with them both well in their retirement.”