Success for Leicestershire Police at awards evening
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There was double success for Leicestershire Police last night (Wednesday 10 July) at the Leicestershire Live Heroes Awards evening.
Police dog handler PC Sam Bennett and his dog Elvis picked up the top award in the Emergency Services category, before Melton’s Head Cadet, Bradie Smith scooped the good neighbour award.
The awards aim to celebrate the many achievements of remarkable people through their acts of kindness, determination and selflessness.
Among the incidents daring duo PC Bennett and Elvis have dealt with are the detention of a violent men throwing bricks at innocent members of the public, detaining two men believed to be responsible for committing an armed robbery, and locating and detaining a men armed with an axe.
Another feat highlighting PC Bennett’s tenacity to get the job done followed reports from concerned members of the public that a number of men sporting balaclavas had been seen with knives seemingly preparing to commit a robbery. PC Bennett identified their planned route and lay waiting for them with Elvis, successfully arresting them, despite their attempts to flee the scene.
Of equal significance however, is the fact that following a search of the suspect’s vehicle, a number of large ‘Rambo’ style knives were safely recovered, and a bag discarded by the driver was found to contain a loaded double-barrelled shotgun.
As for Bradie, alongside the fantastic work she does as a Head Cadet, on one occasion in particular she excelled herself after noticing her neighbour’s carer needing help.
Bradie sprang into action and quickly noticed that her neighbour had fallen and in the process pulled her radiator off her wall and on to her legs. Recognising the seriousness of the situation, Bradie fetched heat packs and blankets to keep her warm and as comfortable as possible, while they waited for an ambulance.
Once the ambulance had arrived, Bradie extended her consideration her neighbour’s son, checking on his welfare. She really did ensure that everyone was taken care of.
The trio (PC Bennett, Elvis and Bradie) attended a glittering awards ceremony at the King Power Stadium last night, alongside other nominees.
The awards are sponsored by the Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach, with the force itself sponsoring the Emergency Services category.
Other categories included Volunteer of the Year, Bravery and Courage, Armed Services, Community Action, Lifetime Achievement and an overall ‘Hero of Leicestershire’. The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges organised by LeicestershireLive.
Speaking about his success alongside Elvis, PC Bennett said: “It was a surprise to even be nominated for this award, so to actually win with Elvis is incredible.
“Unfortunately after three years of working together he has had to retire on health grounds. This seems like a fitting way to go out following the excellent work he has done; I am extremely proud of him.
“We don’t go to work to pick up awards – it’s part of what we do – but it’s nice to be recognised for our deeds and particularly pleasing to be able to shine a bit of light on the dog section and the great works everyone does within the department.”
Simon Cole, Chief Constable for Leicestershire Police, who attended the award ceremony, said: “Sam and Bradie are a huge credit to their respective sections and Leicestershire Police as a whole. They are shining examples of resilient, ‘can do’ attitudes, determined to protect our communities and provide the highest level of service to the public and colleagues alike. They both thoroughly deserve their awards.”
Mr Cole also congratulated runners up PCSO Amarjit Sanghera who was nominated in the Community Action category, PCs Rob Dignan and Robert Wills who were nominated in the Bravery and Courage category and Special Officers Robert Charlesworth and Kimberly Pulley, who were runners up in the Emergency Services and Volunteer of the Year categories respectively.
He added: “Each one of them deserves to be thanked for their dedication and commitment.”
Lord Bach said: “We tend to take courage and commitment for granted. We should recognise and reward it. That is what these awards are all about.
“It’s fantastic to see Bradie pick up her award for the continued excellent work she does as Melton’s Head Cadet and in the more specific instance of jumping to the rescue of her neighbour. Her composure in such a serious situation was remarkable and she should be extremely proud.
“I’m also delighted to see PD Elvis receiving an award – along with PC Bennett of course. The Dog Section is a hugely important part of the police family and this pair have helped to made Leicestershire a safer place for many years.
“I’m so pleased to see a dog in the awards, particularly after we all campaigned in support of Finn’s Law, so that those harming service animals can be charged appropriately.
“My congratulations go to everyone who won or was short-listed in this year’s awards. The standard was incredibly high.”