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Thames Valley Police officers and staff recognised for their Covid-19 response

Officers and staff from Thames Valley Police have been honoured at the National Op Talla Awards, which commends the outstanding contributions to the national pandemic response for policing.

On Thursday (30/6), during a ceremony in London, seven awards were given to teams and individuals from Thames Valley Police for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Home Secretary and Policing Minister joined guests to thank the winners for their valuable contribution with recipients acknowledged in the categories of Governance and Coordination, Health and Wellbeing, and Innovation.

Amongst the individuals who were recognised during the ceremony was Chief Inspector Matt Sulley. He devised an electronic inventory system to track all orders and certification of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items, as well as developing a digital National PPE Dashboard to help staff stay safe whilst at work. His leadership and commitment enabled officers to coordinate the storage and distribution of over 300 million items of PPE to police forces.

Chief Inspector Matt Sulley with his award

Superintendent Emma Baillie has been recognised for developing a comprehensive partnership plan with multiple stakeholders as Chair of the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum. She demonstrated determination, drive and focus to achieve agreed goals, as well as playing a key part in setting up the PPE arrangement that led to the national police PPE process.

Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum Manager Ben Axelsen, was awarded for his role in the implementation of the multi-agency response to the pandemic for the Thames Valley. This included overseeing the first emergency repatriation flight for British citizens into RAF Brize Norton, as well as having responsibility for one of the few isolation centres in Milton Keynes. His leadership and coordination resulted in a strong, joined up approach across all agencies.

Tara McGuinness, an Occupational Health Nurse, was acknowledged for her support to colleagues throughout the pandemic with her empathy and warmth, ensuring officers had practical support and advice when needed.20220705 Op Talla 2 600x370.jpg

Occupational Health Nurse Tara McGuinness collecting her award

Three teams were also awarded for their outstanding contributions. The PPE Logistics Team worked tirelessly to source, procure and quality assure Personal Protective Equipment from across the world and made it readily available to all police forces in England and Wales, as well as our Overseas Territories. The team devised a new system to record and track each piece of PPE and distributed in excess of 300 million items, weighing over 3,000 tonnes.

The PPE Logistics Team with their award

The Thames Valley Police Finance Team created a record management system to manage the ordering and in-bound supply chain of PPE. They took responsibility to train themselves on PPE standards and regulations, audited suppliers and inspected the certification of goods. This supported the safety of staff and officers, as well as providing confidence to other forces.

Some of the Thames Valley Police Finance Team receiving their award

The Contact Management Team were awarded for successfully implementing a remote call handling solution for 101 calls. This provided a reliable method for answering calls, utilising existing technology, to enhance business continuity. Contact Management staff could work safely and reduce the spread of infection, whilst maintaining an essential public service and reducing demand on 999 calls.

Some of our Contact Management Team collecting their award

Chief Constable John Campbell said: “I am extremely proud of the role that Thames Valley Police played in the national response to the pandemic. During this time, more was asked of policing than ever before. The collective effort of my officers and staff helped to keep our communities safe, whilst supporting the health and wellbeing of colleagues right across the country.

“My congratulations go to all of the award winners at the Op Talla National Awards.”

Details for all the award winners can be found in the Op Talla National Awards Official Programme.

All Photo Credits: Ben Hurst, College of Policing


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