Much admired Devon police officer to take early retirement

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

Much admired Devon and Cornwall Police sergeant Harry Tangye has revealed he will retire early next year.

The armed response vehicle sergeant, who is also a firearms commander and tactics advisor, made the revelation during a live question and answer session on social media.

As well as being a vastly experienced officer, Tangye is highly active on social media – he has more than 31,000 Twitter followers and can often be found giving his thoughts on a wide range of issues.

Speaking exclusively to the Moorlander,
when asked why he has chosen to retire in April next year, Sgt Tangye said: “What’s made me decide to take this decision is that I’ve been frontline policing for 30 years and in firearms for 23 years. I enjoy what I do but it is becoming more of the same, even though the same is so varied, which sounds quite contradictory.

“I think 30 years is a good stretch at one thing and whilst I am fit I’d like to do something completely different and allow the hungry younger officers to take my place. I’m fortunate enough to be able to experiment a little and try something completely different.
There are things in mind but too many variables to go wrong so I can’t divulge that yet.”

In asking him what he considers the biggest change to the police force in his almost-three decades of service, he remarked:

“The biggest challenge in my service I will suggest is the continual upgrading of skills and passing of assessments in order to maintain or gain other skills in the firearms unit.

‘Instead of going upwards, I preferred to specialise in the area I was in which meant an awful lot of work. In the police things change constantly. They have become far more professional and therefore training is regular which is hard and with minimum standards that need to be achieved.

‘That’s quite a pressure for such a long time and can be mentally and physically challenging. I’ve always said, though, never sit in the comfortable seat if you want an exciting career.”

Sgt Tangye praised the forward-vision of Devon and Cornwall Police and hoped that the “strength and stamina” will be put back into the force: “Devon and Cornwall Police have had an incredible command team over the past few years.

‘They’ve been extremely modern in their thinking with the Chief Constable having come from the Metropolitan Police with an excellent reputation. This Force was in the forefront of taser drones and body worn video. Not forgetting Twitter through its most difficult periods they could see the benefits of it in the long term.

‘I think this course will change and develop as it needs to through the next few years with few issues. Building the strength and stamina back in the force having been stripped of finances and, therefore, resources has been difficult and a challenge for all, especially as the city forces tend to get much of the attention.

‘A lot of experience has been lost and it’s going to take very careful selection and training to ensure we are equipped for the next generation of policing needs.”

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