10 November 2022
A pair of officers have told how honoured they are at having been selected to represent Derbyshire Constabulary at this year’s Remembrance Day service at The Cenotaph in Whitehall.
Inspector Kamaljit Bria and PC Ellie Kirton are two of five officers attending the service on behalf of the Force in London on Sunday (13 November) after Derbyshire was chosen to represent the region at the national ceremony.
The pair will be part of the 228 officers representing the Civilian Services Contingent (CSC) - which is comprised of nominated representatives from across the police, fire, ambulance and prison services, St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross.
Having been an officer for more than 28 years, Kamaljit is coming up to the end of his career in the police service.
He said: “This is a true honour. Not only to represent Derbyshire Constabulary, but also the East Midlands region as part of the national police remembrance in London at the Cenotaph. This is a huge privilege.”
The CSC forms part of the guard of honour around the Cenotaph, alongside the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, as the Royal Family, Prime Minister and other senior ministers and representatives from the Commonwealth nations lay wreaths following a national two-minute silence.
Kamaljit continued: “I am so looking forward to the day, this means a lot to me personally. It’s one of those ‘once in a career’ opportunities and I know that there will be many officers who won’t get this opportunity, so I’ll be marching for them too - and hopefully, I’ll do them proud.
“My wife is very proud. She will be accompanying me to London and I know that all my family are equally as proud of me.”
Kamaljit (58), started his career with Nottinghamshire Police, before transferring to Derbyshire in 2001.
He is currently the Derbyshire Project Manager for the Emergency Services Network (ESN) Programme, a national programme transferring critical communications from Airwave to ESN.
“Becoming a police officer was something I always wanted to do. Ever since I can remember, I was the one who had police cars as toys or would be dressing up as a police officer," Kamaljit added.
Chief Superintendent Steve Wilson nominated Kamaljit to take part in the service, as he was ‘due some reward and recognition for his time in the Force’.
“Kamaljit was coming towards the end of his service and I believed this gave him a final opportunity to represent the constabulary, whilst providing him with a lasting memory he can rightly feel proud of,” said Steve, “ I know Kamaljit will take the responsibility seriously and do us proud.
“I’ve known and worked with Kamaljit for so many years, he is due some reward and recognition for his service, which I hope he might see this as.
“Kamaljit is the epitome of ‘service above self’, which, while it isn’t our motto, is worthy of recognising.”
Echoing Kamaljit’s comments, Ellie said that being asked to attend the service ‘means so much’ to her.
She added: “To be representing the Force in this way and to be making my family proud, that’s all I could ask for.
“Without sounding like I’m giving an Oscar acceptance speech, to have just been nominated was one of the proudest moments in my career so far. To then have the honour of being selected, especially as a young in-service officer, means more than I can say.”
Ellie became a police constable for the Force in 2020, having launched her career in the police as a CREST process officer, before becoming a detective staffinvestigator in 2019.
“As much of a cliché as it sounds, I have always wanted to be a police officer,” said 27-year-old Ellie.
“I remember my favourite Christmas present one year being a ‘Police Detective Set’. My parents quickly regretted this decision when the whole house was covered in ‘Police Crime Scene’ tape, and I had covered all the doorknobs in fingerprint dust.
“After university, I was keen to join the police in whatever capacity I could. I didn’t quite feel like I had the experience to become a constable at this point, so I was hoping to test the waters in a civilian role. My interest and passion for policing only developed at this point. I was lucky enough to have been given opportunities by my CREST supervisors, which allowed me to learn more about investigating and I soon realised that this was the avenue I wanted to pursue.
“My drive behind joining the police comes from a love of interacting with people from all different walks of life. I’m quite the chatterbox, so doing a job that means I can speak with people all day is a great fit for me. I love the feeling of helping someone when they’re at their most vulnerable and if I can make a positive difference to them, then it’s a good day at the office.”
Speaking about attending the service this Sunday, Ellie said that ‘it is a complete honour’.
“I imagine that this year’s service will be particularly poignant, as it’s the first with His Majesty King Charles,” she continued.
“To have been selected means the absolute world to me and I’m sure it will be a special memory that I will never forget. I’m so excited but equally as nervous - I’ve been practising my marching.
“I am so grateful to have been nominated and given the privilege of representing the Force in this way.”