Crime-fighting family reach landmark
A FAMILY are celebrating clocking up a century of crime-fighting with Suffolk police.Three generations of the Shields family have helped keep the county safe for more than 50 years, from a former CID boss to a call handler.
A FAMILY are celebrating clocking up a century of crime-fighting with Suffolk police.
Three generations of the Shields family have helped keep the county safe for more than 50 years, from a former CID boss to a call handler.
Their sterling service now amounts to a combined total of 100 years - and they are far from finished yet.
Head of the family is grandfather Eric, a former top-ranking detective, who retired nearly three decades ago after 37 years' service.
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His sons Kevin, a constable, and Michael, a superintendent, have served 30 years' each while Melanie, a civilian worker, has been with the force for three years.
Eric, 75, was Deputy Chief Superintendent when he retired in 1987. He worked his way up through the force, holding a number of ranks in the county and with the regional crime squad, and fronted a number of major crime investigations as head of the CID.
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“It's nice to see the family link with the police still going but I never pushed them into it - it was always their choice,” said Eric, who spent six years as safety officer at Ipswich Town FC after retiring from the force.
“I enjoyed every day of my career and that's very important. Now Kevin has retired too, and that makes me feel very old.”
Michael, 45, is in his 28th year with the police, having done two years' cadet service. He now holds the rank of superintendent at headquarters in Martlesham Heath, having previously worked as a sergeant at Stowmarket and sector commander at Leiston, among other roles.
“I've had a full and varied career and I still thoroughly enjoy my job,” he said.
Kevin, 52, who has very recently retired, admitted he was not a “high flyer” like his father and brother, but he said he has gained great satisfaction and enjoyment as a beat officer and working in crime prevention. He covered a patch consisting of 13 villages south of Stowmarket before his retirement.
His daughter, Melanie, 23, joined Suffolk Constabulary three years ago and works in the central ticket office in a civilian post.
“I think the police force is definitely in the family's blood. I've grown up with it and I've always had an interest in law.
“It's fascinating to listen to all the stories and it's nice to do my bit. I'm not actually a police officer, but I'm really happy doing what I'm doing.”