SOME of Solihull’s most experienced police officers have been forced to take retirement as part of a cost-cutting drive.
Sergeant Dave Hewitt and DC Tim Kennedy are among 175 officers across the region, who were shown the door yesterday (Thursday).
West Midlands Police have invoked Regulation A19, a rule which allows them to get rid of officers of over 30 years’ experience.
This week, some of those officers spoke out, warning that dramatic cuts would impact on frontline services and leave posts vacant.
At 48-years-old, Sgt Hewitt, who heads-up the Castle Bromwich neighbourhood team, is one of the youngest leaving, having served 30 years.
“It makes me smile when the Government claims front-line policing won’t be affected by these cuts. You can’t get more front line than my position.”
Sgt Hewitt said it was a “sad end” to his career.
Solihull-based DC Tim Kennedy, who is a specialist at quizzing burglars and car thieves, has also been forced to retire.
“With so many experienced officers going, the service we leave behind will be much poorer,” said the 52-year-old.
West Midlands are one of 13 forces using A19 as they struggle to make £126m savings in four years.
In a statement, the force denied the departures would cause services to suffer.
“Our planned activity across the communities of the West Midlands in the coming weeks and months will hopefully reassure those worried about the impact of cuts that it is very much business as usual.”