10 Jul 2017

A CARMARTHENSHIRE volunteer sergeant has dedicated an impressive 500 hours to keeping the community safe so far this year.

Special Constabulary Sergeant Aled Thomas has given up an average of 19 hours per week to patrolling Cross Hands, Llandovery and Llandeilo in 2017.

This is on top of his full time role as a forensic vehicle examiner with Dyfed-Powys Police.

The dad-of-two has worked for the force for over 20 years and volunteered for three years with the Special Constabulary, becoming a sergeant earlier this year.

He said: “From a very young age I wanted to be a police officer, and to work as a collision investigator.

“In 2007 I joined the collision investigation unit as police staff and my main aspiration to become a forensic vehicle examiner was met without working as a regular. I still wanted to know what it was like to be a PC out on patrol – to know what they experience – and my wife suggested volunteering as a special.”

Three years ago Mr Thomas trained as a Special Constable and he hasn’t looked back.

He said: “I actually applied to become a regular after volunteering as a Special and was offered a position, but I turned it down because I love my job as a forensic vehicle examiner and have the best of both worlds.

“I can see myself being a career Special – someone who doesn’t do it as a way of becoming a PC – but it is definitely a good way of experiencing life as an officer if it is something you are interested in.”

On top of working and volunteering, Mr Thomas also trains in karate along with his wife and children, and is looking to gain his second Dan.

So how does he find so much time to commit to being a Special Sergeant?

“There is a little saying that I use,” he said. “Good people don’t need laws to tell them to act responsibly…whereby bad people will find a way around the laws.

“I think if you have a passion for something you’ll find time to do it, and I’ve found from other Specials that we all want to do something good for the community.

“I used to play rugby and I trained twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday, plus played a match every Saturday,” he said.

“That’s all amalgamated into free time to volunteer. Some of my hours this year have been down to my standard response driving course, but I don’t really know how I’ve managed to do 500 hours already.”

“It’ll be a busy year as I’m studying to be a forensic collision investigator and have had assignments to complete all year and an exam in September, but I’ll carry on putting my hours in as a Special.”

Dyfed-Powys Police has 89 Special Constabulary officers from a variety of backgrounds and professions including a teacher, financial advisor, engineer, a gymnastics coach and a marketing officer for a theatre company.

Specials Chief Officer Cairn Newton-Evans said: “We have such a dedicated team of Special Constables, Sergeants and Inspectors all giving up their free time to help keep their communities safe.

“For Aled to have dedicated 500 hours to the force already this year is incredible and I would like to thank him on behalf of the whole team.”

To follow the work of the Dyfed-Powys Police Specials and find out when recruitment opens, follow us on Twitter @DPPSpecials @DyfedPowys and the Dyfed-Powys Facebook page.