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Dartford police special sergeant named one of the UK's best

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 October 2019

Special Sergeant Olaniyi Opaleye, right, with Kit Malthouse, minister for crime, policing and the fire service. Picture: Kent Police

Special Sergeant Olaniyi Opaleye, right, with Kit Malthouse, minister for crime, policing and the fire service. Picture: Kent Police

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A Dartford police special has received some special recognition for being a dedicated officer.

Special Sergeant Olaniyi Opaleye has been awarded for his service to the community at the Home Office Lord Ferrers Awards ceremony.

He received the Ferrers Special Constabulary award at the event held in Lancaster House, London on Tuesday, October 15.

The award was presented by minister for crime, policing and the fire service, Kit Malthouse.

It recognised Special Sergeant Opaleye's dedication to the service and the community.

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He has worked as a special constable in north Kent for more than 20 years, spending much of his time in the Dartford area.

Mr Opaleye, who works as a research scientist, performs many of his duties on foot or by bicycle. It is said he has worked tirelessly to bring his communities together - connecting the police service with communities.

Despite a demanding work and home life, the married father of two still finds time to regularly give back to the community and welcomed thousands of people whilst on duty at the front 
gate to the Kent Police Open Day in July.

Chief Officer for the Kent Special Constabulary Gavin McKinnon said: "Special Sergeant Opaleye is a great example of the classic British bobby. He knows his area and local people well, he spends a lot of time on foot patrol talking to people, reassuring them, and solving issues such as anti-social behaviour.

"The Home Office judging panel noted that every police force represented said they wish that they had him. I'm glad he's committed to policing Kent. What he has achieved as a Special is exceptional and he is very worthy of this Lord Ferrers Award."

The Lord Ferrers Awards - which is in its 26th year - celebrates the contributions of Police Support Volunteers, Special Constables, Volunteer Police Cadets, and volunteers supporting the work of Police and Crime Commissioners. It is the top award in volunteer policing.

The awards, in 10 categories, used to be the Special Constable and Police Support Volunteer Awards before being renamed six years ago in memory of Home Secretary and creator Lord Ferrers.

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