Ulster’s top police officers were named this week at a PSNI event honouring exceptional service by force members.
The 10th Policing with the Community awards honoured eight winners, including some non-officers, with nominations from police chiefs and residents alike.
Inspector Trevor McKeown, a veteran of three-decades’ experience based at Londonderry’s Strand Road, won the outright ‘Police Officer of the Year’ award.
Responsible for neighbourhood policing teams in the north and west of the city, the PSNI said he had shown “leadership and determination” dealing with communities “which had traditionally found difficulty in engaging with police” with the result that anti-social behaviour dropped.
The Volunteer of the Year accolade went to Eric Cumberland, a member of the public, for forging a cross-community group in east Dungannon – a town with a large migrant population, whose integration “was not always a smooth one”.
Despite his death in July, his family wanted the award to proceed, so he was named as its posthumous winner.
The awards were presented in Ballymena on Wednesday.
The others winners are: Diversity in Action – G8 Engagement Team, F District; Personal Policing Service – Sergeant David McIlwaine, Castlederg; Professional Policing Service – Sergeant Ricky McClelland, Strabane; Protective Policing Service – Sergeant Craig McDowell, A District; Neighbourhood Policing Team – Coalisland and Moy; Police Staff Member of the Year – Kathy Latcham, Crime Prevention Officer, A District.