Long serving Jill is police's public face
FOR three decades Jill Lawton-Dale has been the face of policing in Kidsgrove by providing reassurance and support to the community.
Mrs Lawton-Dale is a civilian member of staff and she mans the public inquiry desk.
Since taking up the role in 1982, she has seen scores of police recruits start their service and progress.
The 51-year-old takes pride in her work and says she enjoys the unpredictable nature of the job.
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She said: "A lot has changed in the police force over the last 30 years and I've seen so many staff come and go, getting promoted further up the chain of command.
"Manning the reception means you are often the first point of contact for the public and the buck stops with you.
"Whatever the problem you have to deal with it. I am a big believer in community policing, it's important to know the area you serve.
"Local policing is the foundation of what we do and knowledge of the people and area builds your confidence and the public confidence in you.
"People often want reassurance and they prefer that face-to-face contact.
"When I started working here I was on back office duties, but working on the front desk is the best job for me. I thrive on not knowing what is going to come through the door next."
And to mark her achievements, the mother-of-two has now been nominated in The Sentinel's Our Heroes awards, in the Beyond the Call of Duty Category.
Mrs Lawton-Dale's long service was recently recognised with a police honour, The Josephine Cotterill Award, which is handed to police staff whose contributions to public service go over and above that which would normally be expected.
In this case, Mrs Lawton-Dale's long standing service demonstrated continual commitment to Staffordshire Police.
Inspector Shaun Kerrigan said: "Mrs Lawton-Dale has worked for Staffordshire Police for more than 30 years and has spent most of that time at Kidsgrove police station serving the local community.
"Her vast experience and knowledge of the Kidsgrove area and residents over that time has enabled local officers at Kidsgrove and the community to benefit tremendously.
"She will often update incidents with information relevant to the inquiry allowing the bigger picture to be seen by the attending officers.
"Jill has worked alongside shifts in the past working earlies, noons and nights and has delivered outstanding service.
"Her professionalism in dealing with incidents and ensuring the best possible service is delivered is second to none."
Mrs Lawton-Dale works at the reception desk five days a week.
When a public office annex opened at Kidsgrove three years ago, she was relocated there and continued working at the frontline dealing with inquiries.
Colleagues say her wealth of knowledge means she can often assist the public without them needing to see anyone else.
Inspector Kerrigan added: "As an ambassador for the police, Jill's professionalism and dedication to Staffordshire Police over the last 30 years is a credit to her."