A police officer who is set to retire this week after 55 years of service has been nominated for an award.

Jim Shand, of Devon and Cornwall Police has been named in the shortlist for the Lifetime Achievement Award, along with two other nominees – one from London Fire Brigade and the other from Northumbria Police.

The nomination comes from the Control Room Awards 2021, which aims to recognise the extraordinary dedication and selfless service to the public provided by control room heroes across the country.

Jim, aged 73, joined Devon and Exeter Police in 1966 as a probationary constable, working in Plympton, before moving on to Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Exeter.

Later on he took up different roles in the operations room.

Having served as a police officer for 30 years, he has worked as a resource deployment officer (RDO) in the Control Room, in Exeter for the last 25 years.

Described as a ‘fountain of knowledge,’ he has taken many new members of staff under his wing and guided them in the simpler ways to approach the job.

In nominating Jim for the lifetime award, his colleagues in the Control Room said: "Jim epitomises the phrase 'unsung hero'.

"There is nothing specific, no one spectacular job he dealt with that gives cause for this nomination.

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"Jim is just a hard-working, reliable member of staff who we have been able to count on in the department for many years, for which he is thoroughly worthy of recognition.

"His stories of the old days are absolutely fascinating, he is kind and thoughtful, always offering to wash the cups at the end of the day among other things.

"For this, and many, many other reasons, he will be very sorely missed when he retires."

At a presentation made to him by Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, Jim said: "It has been a privilege working with everyone over the years.

"It has been a fantastic experience working both here and on the streets.

"There has been no better crew to work with, from the top, down to this level."

The Chief Constable said: "Jim joined the Devon and Exeter Police is 1966 so this is an unparalleled length of service.

"It is unprecedented.

"For Jim to be operating in the control room environment after all these years is brilliant.

"I was three years old and the Prime Minister was only two years old when Jim was first keeping the streets safe.

"We wish him well in his retirement."

The awards, organised by APD Communications, will take place on Friday May 14.