A retired police officer who dedicated 55 years of his life to the force in Essex has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Eddie Clarke will receive the British Empire Medal for his services to policing.

Mr Clarke, 75, launched his career in the Southend police force in 1964 before it merged with the rest of the county and became Essex Police.

He spent several years as a roads policing officer, before eventually moving onto the emergency planning department in 1996.

Mr Clarke officially retired in August last year.

Essex Police says Mr Clarke was widely respected throughout the force and said his commitment to his job was “undiminished” throughout his career.

A spokesman added: “His continual hard work formed a link with industry that has proven crucial in the development of multi-agency work across the country.

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“He also bridged the generational gap, tutoring and training new staff, no matter their experience or backgrounds.

“Across his service, Eddie was always there to provide advice and share his immense experience, which has proven to be invaluable to colleagues of all ranks when faced with extreme circumstances, including during the Jaywick floods eight years ago when he supported the specialist operations control room out of hours.”

Mr Clarke was joined on the honours list by Brian Jaggs – head of Essex and Kent police’s IT service delivery.

Mr Jaggs spent 30 years as a serving police officer before moving into the IT department in the early 2000s.

On being awarded a BEM, Mr Jaggs said: “My first reaction was that it was a spam email. I still can’t believe it.

Echo: Brian JaggsBrian Jaggs

“I come here to do my job and so many colleagues do the same. I’m no different to everyone else but I’m so grateful to be recognised.

“I have enjoyed every single role I have held as an officer and police staff member.

“The first couple of years, the new experiences, like your first solo arrest or walking up the high street by yourself and everyone’s looking at you.”

Essex Police’s chief con Ben-Julian Harrington said: “It really is a privilege to see two of our longest serving colleagues being recognised for one of the nation’s highest honours for their hard work, commitment and long service to our force and the people of Essex.

“Each day, our officers, staff and volunteers help people, keep them safe and bring criminals to justice and Brian and Eddie’s stories are real examples of this. It makes me really proud to be their Chief Constable.

“This innovation and support extends across our whole force so, if their stories connect with you, I’d encourage you to join us. Visit our Fit the Bill webpage to hear more inspirational stories and find your place in Essex Police.”