16:27 Wednesday 04 December 2013

Hero policeman honoured for 20 years of service

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

A POLICEMAN who once managed to talk a man out of jumping from the roof of a Burton shopping centre has been honoured for his long service.

Sergeant Chris Douglas was commended for serving 20 years with the police force at a ceremony at police headquarters in Stafford on Tuesday evening, where he received a medal from Chief Constable Mike Cunningham.

The 43-year-old started his career as a constable in Preston, Lancashire, before moving down to Staffordshire. He became a sergeant in 2004.

Sgt Douglas told the Mail: “I feel proud I’ve got to 20 years, but I have still got 10 years to go, and there are still a lot of challenges nationally and locally.

“It feels a long time single I was running for the bus on my first day.”

Growing up in the north-west, Sgt Douglas said he had always wanted to become a policeman, as it was ‘something important and a bit different’, and joined the force after going away to university.

High points of his career having included working at the G8 summit, in Northern Ireland, and working with police from around the UK in the search for missing schoolgilr April Jones, who was abducted and murdered in Wales last year.

In July 2007, he talked a man from jumping off Burton’s Bargates shopping centre ahead of negotiators going in. The story was carried in the Mail at the time.

Sgt Douglas said he felt proud to have been involved in that situation.

He added: “I have still got the same values as I had when I started. Obviously, things have changes – life seemed a bit more simple then.

“It has its challenges, but I still don’t dread coming into work every day and I think I’m quite lucky in that respect. I don’t think I’ve ever thought ‘I don’t want to do this’.”

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