A long-serving Dacorum police officer was presented with the Frank Mason Memorial Award on Friday, April 14.
The award is given every year in honour of an off-duty police officer who was fatally wounded in Hemel Hempstead more than 30 years ago.
PC Francis Mason was walking his dog on April 14, 1988, when he witnessed a security van being held up by armed robbers in Bank Court.
He displayed enormous courage and tackled the gunmen, but he was shot and sadly died aged just 27 years old, despite efforts to save him. As a result of his intervention, the security guard was able to get to safety.
Each year, the award is presented to a Dacorum-based officer who has displayed PC Mason’s qualities of dedication, professionalism and selflessness in protecting the community.
They are nominated and voted for by their supervisors and selected by senior officers in the borough.
Constable Andy Simms, 51, was selected for the honour, and attended Bank Court with special guests including PC Mason’s widow, Jill Ann Sciberras and daughter Jodie, Assistant Chief Constable Matt Nicholls, Dacorum Chief Inspector Jason Keane and Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.
A colleague said: “If ever anyone has something they are unsure on, it’s always Simmsy that people go to for advice and he is always happy to help with a smile. He has shared his wealth of knowledge with a huge number of officers.
PC Simms said: “It is true to say that I was genuinely very shocked to receive the award. However, it does fill me with pride that I have won and be the most recent in a long list of excellent officers and to get the award that bears Frank Mason’s name is a real honour.”
Photo credit: Dacorum Police/Facebook