A LONG-SERVING Essex policeman retired on a high by going on his final beat with his two children.

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Chief superintendent Tim Stokes, who has hung up his handcuffs after three decades with Essex Police, was joined on patrol by Carly and Tom Stokes, also with the force.

He ended his final beat on Wednesday in Clacton by arresting an 18-year-old man on suspicion of theft. When he joined the force in 1982 his first action had been to make a theft arrest, bring his 30-year career full circle.

Ch Supt Stokes, 54, said: “Back in 1982 Clacton was where I started my first patrols as a constable and on my last day I was always been determine to go back out on patrol where it all started for me.

“The Stokes family goes on in Essex Police. My children are both dedicated officers and are intent on a career with Essex Police.”

Police constable Carly Stokes, 29, is based at Colchester, while sergeant Tom Stokes, 27, is a firearms officer at Stansted Airport. Both surprised him at a leaving presentation held at Boreham before joining him for his final patrol.

Ch Supt Stokes joined Essex Police in 1982 and during his 30 years’ service worked in Clacton, Colchester, Braintree, Harlow, and Chelmsford.

A final send off was held at Operational Policing Command (OPC) in Boreham where Mr Stokes held his final role.

Ch supt Simon Williams, who is filling Mr Stokes’ boots as head of OPC, said: “I’ve worked with Tim for 26 years on and off and I’ve tended to following him throughout the same career path.

“Thank you Tim for all that you have done. You’ve been an inspiration to colleagues, you’ve been a great friend and supporter to me and I’d like to wish you a long and happy retirement.”

Of his retirement plans, Ch Supt Stokes said: “I intent to travel and make the most of my retirement and having worked hard for the last 30 years I intend to get some decent sleep!”

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