TWO Essex Police officers have been handed the Queen’s Police Medal in the birthday honours list.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh is leaving the force in September after more than 33 years service and Jan Bloomfield, a former Youth and Anti-Social Behaviour Sergeant, will both receive medals at a dedicated ceremony later this year.

Stephen has been given the award which is reserved for police officers who show acts of exceptional courage and skill at the cost of their lives, or conspicuous devotion to duty.

Mr Kavanagh started his policing career when he joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1985 and was posted as a constable to Leyton, East London.

He rose through the ranks and worked in different roles including counter terrorism and as a Detective Assistant Constable for specialist operations.

Mr Kavanagh said: “I am honoured and humbled to learn of this award. Policing is the ultimate team game and in 33 years of service I’ve been inspired and supported by every team with whom I’ve worked.

“No police officer could start or end a shift without support from their ‘home team’ too.

"My family’s love and patience has sustained me in tricky times and I can’t thank them enough for their support.

"Essex Police is a fantastic police force full of women and men who do their very best every day to keep people safe.

"It’s on their behalf, and with great pride, that I accept this award.”

Jan has offered 30 years of service to the force after joining in 1998 fulfilling her dream of becoming a police officer.

Earlier this year she retired as a Youth and Anti-Social Behaviour Sergeant and now works in a staff role with us as a Children and Young People and Anti-Social Behaviour Manager.

She said: “I returned home from work last week and my daughter said she’d signed for ‘some letter’.

"As we read about the Queen recognising my work, I said it must be a wind up.

"The award means a lot to me and my family but for me, it highlights the areas of policing that I’m so passionate about and for that I’m really happy."

Roger Hirst Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex added: “These Queen’s Police Medals are well deserved and are great news for Stephen, Jan, Essex Police and the County.

“Stephen and Jan are well respected by partners, officers and staff.

"They both thoroughly merit this honour and I am very pleased their outstanding contributions have been publicly recognised in this way.”