Devon and Cornwall Police recognised the long service of its officers and staff in ceremonies held at Powderham Castle.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer presented the awards alongside Deputy Lieutenant Simon Young.

Amongst those to receive an award was Joanne Thomas.? Born and raised in South Devon, Joanne joined the RAF aged 19 which saw her stationed in Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire, and Scotland, where she worked with RAF police dogs including on numerous operations tackling drugs importation. She was also part of the RAF Police Dog Demonstration team at the Royal Tattoo.

In July 2001, Jo joined Devon and Cornwall Police, working in the now defunct Central Data Input Bureau as a call handler. After four years she was promoted to supervisor, managing a small team. She enjoyed the role but having decided to start a family, she left the control room after 11 years to work in the ID office at Torquay.

This was a change of environment as she was now dealing face-to-face with victims, witnesses and suspects. It also meant her working alongside other departments, assisting with many investigations of serious offences.

During her time in the ID Unit, Jo had a six-month secondment as a Domestic Abuse Officer in South Devon. Although she had to return at the end of the secondment it clearly left an impression on her and the department as she was soon approached by the local DI to take on the role of Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) Administrator for the area. This became a permanent posting, and where Jo works today.

Jo has performed different roles in the police and always shows dedication and professionalism, often going above and beyond the reach of her role in assisting vulnerable victims, providing them with reassurance and support, as well as supporting multiagency work.