A long-serving staff member at Burnham-On-Sea Police Station has retired this week after 40 years in the force.
Pam Whitehead began working in an admin role for Avon and Somerset Constabulary in July 1974 at Bridgwater and also worked at Taunton before moving to Burnham Police Station in 1981, where she has been in the front office ever since.
Dozens of friends and colleagues – past and present – gathered at Burnham Police Station this week to wish her a happy retirement with her husband David.
“I have been very lucky to have had the wonderful opportunity to work for 40 years in a job where I have worked with amazing professional colleagues. I am also delighted that I have been able to help and assist members of the local community and I have met some wonderful people,” Pam told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Burnham from 1981 until the present time – I have carried out a large variety of roles whilst the Constabulary modernised. Forty years ago I was using an old style upright manual typewriter and have progressed now to using the latest IT computer systems.”
Pam says she feels “very honoured” to have received several awards during her time in the job. In 2002 she received a Burnham and Highbridge Town Council Civic Award, and in 2007 she received an award in the Community Policing Awards for “Outstanding Customer Service”.
In 2012 she was presented with an MBE by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. “I am still amazed at being picked out for this award and like to feel it is for all the staff at Burnham Police Station,” she says.
In June this year she received a PCC Pride Award from Sue Mountstevens, the Avon and Somerset PCC, in recognition of 40 years’ service for the Force and to the local community. Earlier this month, she was also presented with a certificate for 40 years’ loyal service to Avon and Somerset Constabulary by Acting Chief Constable John Long.
“Although I am retiring, I am pleased to say the Enquiry Office at Burnham police station will continue to operate Monday to Friday 10am-6pm where other Enquiry Officer Advisors will be eager to assist members of the community. Beat Officers and Community Police Officers will also continue to work out of Burnham,” she added.
“I have been passionate about my job and have loved every minute of the 40 years. I have worked with some amazing people who are now excellent friends and have some wonderful, wonderful memories to leave with.”
“It has also been a real joy meeting so many wonderful members of the public who I hope I have helped in some small way. This includes many holidaymakers who have found the need to call at the station. It is always a pleasure to see them leave the station a lot happier than when they arrived. It must be harrowing to find yourself away from your home environment when things go wrong.”
“I will certainly miss the friendship of my colleagues at work, not only at Burnham but all over the force area because I speak and deal with so many people at other stations. I will also miss the contact with the many people who visit the station day-to-day. Although I am excited about retiring, I am also finding it very hard to leave so much behind. I have been extremely fortunate to have had such an amazing job for so many years.”
Pam’s husband David is also retiring from the force at the same time and the pair plan to have a quiet start to their retirement for a few months. “I certainly want to do more exercise and we have just joined the National Trust and hope to use our membership as much as possible. No doubt I will also be doing volunteer work for the Royal British Legion Women’s Section which has been my other passion for many years.”