Dedicated Hadleigh police officer Christopher Garrod has received a prestigious honour – after 21 years as a bobbie on the beat.
He was presented with a long service and good conduct medal by Clare Euston, Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, and Chief Constable Gareth Wilson, at Suffolk Police headquarters, in Martlesham Heath.
“It was quite an honour and humbling to know that all of the hard work over the last 21 years has been recognized,” he said.
“It’s nice to get recognition because a lot of the work we do goes unseen.”
Mr Garrod joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1996 and has since worked as a police constable, responsible for the rural safer neighbourhood teams in Babergh.
He also qualified as an advanced police pursuit trained driver, as well as a medic on the police support unit.
Mr Garrod received an area merit award in 2003 for his professionalism following a violent incident involving a mentally ill man.
While waiting for police assistance, Mr Garrod was assaulted a number of times and sustained a serious injury, but prevented anyone else from getting hurt.
Mr Garrod received another area merit award a year later, while off duty on holiday in the Lake District, when he assisted another officer in arresting a drunk man.
His support was recognised by Cumbria Constabulary’s area commander.
Before joining the police, Mr Garrod worked as an area manager for a company selling ad servicing equipment for the disabled and elderly.
“I realised that was more of a job than a career,” he said.
He was drawn into the force because of the various roles it offered.
“There were so many avenues,” he said. “You can do very specialist jobs and gain different skills.”
He became a rural crime champion recently and helped to set up Farm Watch.
“I enjoy improving the quality of people’s lives or resolving neighbourhood issues so that people can be more amenable to each other,” he added.
One incident which has stuck with Mr Garrod is being able to recover stolen items which a carer had stolen from a vulnerable person they were looking after.
“The person was delighted,” he said. “You can’t put a price on that.”