Special Chief Inspector celebrates 45 years’ service
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Being a Special changed his life. Could it change yours?
45 years’ ago today (23 August), Special Chief Inspector Ron McMurdie joined Hertfordshire Constabulary.
Ron really enjoyed his normal day job as a Mechanical Engineer but had always admired the emergency services and the armed forces for the brilliant work they do and wanted to be a part of it.
He said: “By joining the Special Constabulary, it gave me the best of both worlds. I completed my initial training in 1978 and was posted to Watford Central Police Station. Two years later, I was promoted to Special Sergeant and transferred to Rickmansworth sub-division.”
Reflecting on his varied career and positions, Ron said: “It was around two years after transferring to Rickmansworth that I was then promoted to Special Inspector. I spent many years working between Rickmansworth and Watford.
“In 2014, I completed a senior leadership and management programme which helped me on my journey to become Special Chief Inspector in 2017, which is now my current role. My responsibilities span across the entire county and definitely keeps me busy!”
Now aged 70, Ron has been part of some memorable events. He said: “One event I took part in which really sticks with me was being part of the Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehill, London in 2010. Seeing the veterans, the military and marching past the Cenotaph was an experience I will never forget.
“Secondly, seeing so many Specials come into the service and subsequently join the regular service to become high ranking officers makes me very proud.
“Being a ‘petrol head’ and having a keen interest in motorsports and motorcycling, I was also attached to the divisional traffic base at Rickmansworth in the late 90s. This was a specialist role that I really enjoyed and look back on fondly.”
Not unsurprisingly, in 45 years’ there has been a lot of change in the policing world. Looking back on the changes he has seen over the years, Ron said: “There is a lot more enhanced training now, which has allowed Specials to be fully integrated into the regular service and into many specialist roles.
“The standard of equipment has also really improved along with better staff protection training. Specials are considered to be part of everyday policing and not just at weekends or in times of need, so we feel very much part of the entire Hertfordshire Police family!”
“Being a Special certainly changed my life and assisted me with my regular job, I’ve made so many friends along the way and I feel it’s made me a more confident person. This has allowed me to go on to do other things that I would never have considered. It’s also an excellent insight into the police if you’re considering joining the service or just want to do something different in your spare time and give back to the community. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend becoming a Special to anyone.”
Specials are volunteer police officers. They come from all walks of life and volunteer their spare time for a minimum of 16 hours a month. Highly trained, with full policing powers, including the power to arrest, they play an essential role in preventing, reducing and tackling crime.