A volunteer for Essex Police who has dedicated more than 40 years of service was recognised for his achievements at a special awards ceremony.

On Thursday, November 21, Deputy Chief Officer Derek Hopkins was invited to the Long Service and Good Conduct Awards, having volunteered since 1980.

His outstanding contribution was recognised by colleagues, Chief Officers and Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington.

The volunteer's achievements have previously been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace where he was awarded an MBE for his services to policing in February 2015.

DCO Hopkins said: “I wouldn’t change my volunteering experience for the world. I feel privileged to have been invited to our force ceremony.

“I couldn’t have served my community this long if it wasn’t for the support of my colleagues and family. Here’s to many more years.”

Superintendent Cat Barrie, Lead for the Special Constabulary said: “Congratulations Derek on your magnificent long service achievement. Thank you for your commitment to the community and for the sacrifices you and your family have made to keeping Essex a great place to live, work and visit.”

Specials are volunteer police officers. They are equipped with full policing powers and the same uniform as regular officers to help protect their local community.

For more information about the Special Constabulary and how to apply, visit: www.essex.police.uk/specials