A retired police officer who patrolled the district streets for almost 50 years has been shortlisted for a People’s Choice Award this month.

Tony Ellis, who first joined Essex Police as a cadet in 1966, is one of five finalists for this year’s Roger Hirst’s Community Safety Hero Awards.

Residents across Essex are being asked to vote for their worthy winner whom they feel have made an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Community safety’.

Mr Ellis, who is now an active citizen volunteer for Essex Police, has been described by The Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership as “an unsung hero”.

A statement released by Essex Police said: “Tony’s expertise allows the Community Safety Partnership to provide an enhanced level of service to residents of the district, supporting the core services and keeping victims safe.

“He does all of this in his own time and with great enthusiasm and professionalism.”

After spending most of his career providing community policing initiatives, Mr Ellis remained in post until 2015 and immediately volunteered as an Active Citizen for Essex Police.

Volunteering from Ongar Police station, he manages the continually growing National Problem Solvers group, which has received recognition from Secured by Design and the College of Policing.

“The scheme delivers problem solving solutions to practitioners and has developed a considerable library of best practice initiatives,” added Essex Police.

“Not content with running the Problem Solvers Scheme, Tony extends his volunteering services to Epping Forest District Council’s Community Safety Team where he works with officers in delivering crime prevention advice and assistance to vulnerable victims suffering from domestic abuse, dwelling burglary, hate crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, will present £100 to the chosen winner at an annual conference at Colchester Stadium on Friday, June 7.

“Each and everyday people across Essex go out of their way to make a positive contribution to their communities,” said Mr Hirst. “Whether that is through supporting vulnerable people, helping to prevent crime or making our communities safer.

“These awards help recognise those people by celebrating the contribution they make and supporting them in making a difference.”

The finalist nominated for this year’s People’s Choice Award are:

  • Jason Shaves – Rainbow Services – Harlow
  • Shirley Hume – Springfield Youth Group – Chelmsford
  • Kirsty Fields – Off The Streets – Southend
  • Tony Ellis – Crime Prevention Assistant – Epping Forest District
  • Emma Hughes – Sanctus – Chelmsford

The voting poll will run until 12 noon on, Friday, June 7 and the winner will be announced that evening.

To vote for who you would like to see win People’s Choice Community Safety Hero Award, visit: www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/csha-vote/