Congratulations are in order for a member of our team at Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands (CTPEM).
Regional Ports Officer Alan Smith is celebrating five decades of loyal service to the police.
Where Alans's Career Began
Joining Derbyshire Constabulary in 1973 at the age of 16, Alan followed his Police Constable father’s footsteps, little knowing that 50 years later he would still be fighting crime.
“In those days, you very often followed the path of your parents. I sat down with my dad and looked at career paths and pension benefits looking into the future, and I looked at my father and thought, well it’s not done him any harm!”
Alan joined as a Cadet. His first payslip was the princely sum of £14.50.
Soon he joined as a regular officer, posted in Chesterfield, before becoming a detective in 1979.
Three years later Alan was offered a role in the force’s Special Branch, which is now part of CTPEM: “Back then, Special Branch was shrouded in secrecy. You weren’t even allowed to tell people what colour grass was, let alone what your day-to-day business involved.
“So, when I first entered into the realms of counter-terrorism and national security, I had no idea what to expect, but I have remained in this area of policing for 41 years to the present day.”
A Career Highlight
This role led to one particular highlight of Alan’s career, working as a VIP armed protection officer for 13 years and protecting members of the royal family, such as Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III (formerly the Prince of Wales) and the late Princess of Wales, Diana.
“It was part of the job, I remember working at Chatsworth and walking around with Lady Diana for eight hours as she was talking to people. She was at that time the patron for the Doctor Barnardo’s Charity.
“You were constantly scanning the crowd, making sure people weren’t getting too close, and constantly reviewing the security arrangements as you moved around.
“It was very complicated in terms of timings, locations, logistics etc, but you had to be professional, and remain alert and circumspect at all times.”
Alan's Role With CTPEM
Alan’s knowledge has become invaluable over the years, becoming a Subject Matter Expert in respect of terrorist and extremist groups, working with the Home Office and other agencies as a Regional Ports Coordinator and also the EU and UN to deliver training and expert opinion on border security.
Alan, who was born and grew up in Peartree, Derby, said: “Although for many years I have been detached from local policing, Derbyshire has always been my home and I am extremely proud to be able to say that I have served the community of Derbyshire and the country for the past 50 years.
“I have many memories, most of which have been immensely positive. The job has been extremely kind to me over the years, and I am honoured and privileged to have served at the levels and in the many different ways that I have been able to.
“I’ll celebrate the achievement in Derbyshire at their awards night in November, as the only person in force to have achieved 50 years’ service.”
Head of CTPEM Supt Steve Riley said:
“This is an amazing achievement and one that Alan should be extremely proud of. Not only is he a hardworking member of the team, he is also well-liked and respected, and his experience and knowledge is invaluable across the CTP network."