After 33 years of serving the communities of Staffordshire Chief Constable Jane Sawyers hung up her handcuffs yesterday (Friday 16 June) for the very last time.
After joining the force straight after school in April 1984, Jane was posted to Cannock where as a WPC she worked extended shifts on the miners’ strike and protected the communities she patrolled.
Jane said: “I had wanted to be a police officer since the age of 12 or 13 for many reasons. I wanted a career which involved meeting people, doing something different every day and not sitting behind a desk, so I joined straight from school.
“In those days you could take the Sergeants exam as soon as you had completed your probationary period and the Inspectors exam after five years’ service. My view was that I had just left school, studied throughout my probationary period to pass the various tests, so I may as well take the exams as soon as possible.”
This put Jane in great stead. The next six years followed with attachments to the force drugs squad and to Tamworth as an Acting Sergeant. In 1990, she was promoted to Sergeant in Lichfield, and then came the move to drug squad at headquarters, before moving briefly to Newcastle at the same rank.
1992 saw a promotion to Inspector at Longton and then a progression through the ranks to Chief Inspector, Superintendent and then Chief Superintendent in 2007.
During this time Jane went on to have a family while still pursuing her career dreams, she said: “Between 1992 and 2000 I got married and had my three children. The job made it possible for me to have both a family and a career, and it is fair to say the love and support of my family have contributed massively to the fantastic career I have had. Without them I do not believe it would have been possible.”
It was in 2009 she started a period as Acting Assistant Chief Constable and in 2010 attended the National Strategic Command (SCC) course. In 2010 she became ACC for Staffordshire, and then DCC in 2013.
In 2014 Jane was appointed as Temporary Chief Constable followed by the permanent position. She said: “Many people have asked me if I ever thought I would become the Chief, and the answer is absolutely not, I never envisaged it. But I am so proud, honoured and privileged to be the person leading Staffordshire Police.
“I am contacted very regularly by members of the public expressing gratitude and thanks for selfless actions of officers and staff, and this is wonderful to hear. I am so proud to have been a Staffordshire Police officer for my whole career, it doesn’t happen very often so it’s been an honour to protect my home county with the amazing staff I have around me. I could not have asked for anything more.”
The future holds many exciting things for Jane but a six month break for family time is the first thing on the list to complete. Jane’s parting words: “It has been an absolute pleasure, thank you, I have had a ball.”