A POLICE Inspector has hung up his handcuffs after 30 years of public service.
Inspector Bernie Hanson, of Hartlepool Police, finished his last shift at the weekend and admits he has loved every minute.
The 54-year-old, born and bred in Hartlepool but now living in Billingham, wanted to join either the police or armed forces when he was in his early 20s.
But he opted for a career in the police to follow in the footsteps of his twin brother Paul Hanson, 54, who served more than 25 years with Cleveland Police.
Over the past three decades he has worked in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton in neighbourhood policing, at the headquarter’s ID suite and as part of a team specialising in blackmail cases.
Insp Hanson admits he doesn’t feel ready to retire but his time with the police has come to an end.
The married dad-of-four said: “I still feel young enough, fit enough and eager enough and I thoroughly enjoy the job.
“But time is up and I am used to that now.
“I’m not the type of person who can retire at 54 and I will be looking for another challenge.
“It is a great job and one I would recommend for anybody that has an inquisitive mind and likes a challenge.”
He joined Cleveland Police in June 1982 as a PC on a response team, based in Hartlepool.
After five years he moved to the force headquarters in Middlesbrough where he worked on the research team for 18-months.
He returned to town where he was promoted to Sergeant before moving to Middlesbrough for six years on the neighbourhood police team, before a two-year stint in the ID suite in North Ormesby.
Next up was a move to Stockton where he was promoted to Inspector before returning to town three years ago to finish his career.
Insp Hanson added: “I always wanted to come back to work in Hartlepool because it is such a friendly station and there is a great team spirit.
“Everybody gets on and it is a very supportive team.”
He said the standard of proof is more stringent, everything is computerised, more paperwork and the equipment used by officers has changed.
But one thing the police will always rely on is the help of the public.
Insp Hanson said: “When I started I had a little wooden truncheon and a pair of handcuffs but the equipment now is more sophisticated.
“But one thing that hasn’t changed is the reliance on the assistance of the general public.”
Insp Hanson is married to Allison Hanson, 47, a teaching assistant, and the pair have four children, Ben, 21, Katie, 19, Josh, 15 and 13-year-old Daniel.
He said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and watching his youngest sons play rugby for Billingham RFC.