Time for Shaun to find different beat
SHAUN Kerrigan started his working life in the pottery industry, but soon felt the calling to become a police officer.
He joined the Staffordshire force as a 19-year-old and has spent most of the last 30 years serving in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
He is now leaving his role as commander of Stoke-on-Trent Central local policing team after being forced to retire under the A19 regulation.
The legislation, which forces officers with 30 years' service to retire, was imposed as Staffordshire Police tries to cope with budget cuts.
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Shaun, aged 49, says the greatest change he has seen during his career is the move towards neighbourhood policing – something he hopes is carried on in the future.
He said: "It came into being in 1999 and it completely changed the model of policing.
"We have been more involved with the community, we understand better what they want and because of that we can make more of a difference."
Shaun, who lives in South Cheshire, joined the force in 1982 and worked in Cheadle and Burton before moving to Hanley as a sergeant in 1994.
He has been there ever since, becoming an inspector in 2005. He said one of his proudest achievements has been reducing the level of crime in the city centre.
He added: "The creation of Operation Streetsafe a few years ago changed how we police the city centre and was a real success. We linked in with door teams, premises supervisors and CCTV.
"We have brought violent crime down for quite a number of years.
"I have also enjoyed being part of the Stoke-on-Trent Business Crime Initiative, which has got national recognition.
"The city centre is a different place now than it was when I came here, and I think with the investment being made here now that will continue over the next few years."
Another high point in Shaun's career was receiving a commendation for bravery in 2001, after tackling a Samurai-sword-wielding criminal who had attacked two fellow officers in Bentilee.
After his last day tomorrow, Shaun, will be relaxing with wife Jayne and daughters Charlotte, aged 22, and 19-year-old Elizabeth, and has a couple of holidays in the pipeline.
He admitted he had mixed feelings about his departure. "I wouldn't be leaving if it wasn't for A19, but I completely understand why it is being done," he said.
"I will miss working with the people here.
"But I am lucky I am young enough to get another job.
"I would like to do something working in the community so I am still helping people. That is what I always wanted to do."