Ottery and Sidmouth PC Wilf bade a fond farewell from force after retirement

PUBLISHED: 10:39 06 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:36 18 June 2010

A FORMER Ottery and Sidmouth police officer was last week bade a fond farewell by colleagues after his retirement ended a dedicated 30-year relationship with the force.

A FORMER Ottery and Sidmouth police officer was last week bade a fond farewell by colleagues after his retirement ended a dedicated 30-year relationship with the force.

Ironically Wilfred Reynolds, 59, has only taken two days off work sick in all that time, but a pending minor operation means that while he officially retires on August 22, Thursday was his last working day.

Wilf, who lives in Lancercombe near Tipton St John, said he was "deeply honoured" by a surprise bash thrown for him by colleagues on Wednesday. He has been invited to police headquarters in Exeter to receive a special commendation for his years of service.

"It's quite an honour to go out on," said Wilf, who turns 60 next month. "I'm overjoyed, it was a moving afternoon, there were a lot of old faces wishing me well.

"When you have senior officers saying nice things about you it gets a little emotional- it's quite touching that people recognise what you have done."

Wilf, joined the special constabulary in 1979 and worked as special constable and sergeant in Sidmouth, Ottery and Honiton before becoming a regular constable in 1991.

He was one of the first officers involved in the setting up of the response unit which runs out of Ottery, and announced his 1995 arrival as community constable in the town by abseiling down the parish church for charity.

Wilf also served as acting sergeant for East Devon for more than a year from 2004 before returning to Sidmouth. He then went on to work as a logistics officer and most recently was a drugs liaison support officer.

"I will miss it dreadfully- the camaraderie of it. There have been so many great things I've done. Every day was a joy- I have some great stories to tell," said Wilf, who plans to dedicate more of his time to the Ottery Parish Church and Otter Vale Team Ministry with which he is already heavily involved.

Chief Superintendent Jo Tennant led the tributes to Wilf. She said: "I have worked with him since first meeting him as a Special in Sidmouth in the late 1980s.

"He has a reputation as an extremely hard-working dedicated officer, totally committed to delivering an excellent policing service to the communities he has worked in over the years.

"Wilf is very highly regarded by all his colleagues who will miss his enthusiastic and approachable style. For a number of years he served on the Force Search Team where he was renowned for his great attention to detail, patience, and 'nose' for anything untoward during lengthy, painstaking searches of crime scenes.

"I wish Wilf and his wife Judith the very best wishes for the future, we will miss him hugely.

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