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Kent Police honors special sergeant Niyi Opaleye with The King’s Police Medal

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For 25 years Special Sergeant Niyi Opaleye has served the people of Dartford voluntarily whilst also working full-time as a scientist.

Instantly recognisable to many members of the community who frequently see him patrolling the town on foot or bicycle, S/Sgt Opaleye is only the second-ever Special to have been recognised for his contribution to policing with The King’s Police Medal (KPM).

He said: ‘When I first joined Kent Police I never really expected anything like this. The people in the street always say thank you when I’ve helped them and my colleagues always say thank you when I’ve done a good job, but it means a lot that those who nominated me for The King’s Police Medal thought to show their gratitude in this way.

‘I chose a part of policing that is front-facing and my main role is that of a neighbourhood beat officer, so if something happens in the town centre whilst I’m on patrol then I’ll just go and deal with it. People know who I am, they like to speak to me and I like to show the human side of policing as much as I can. I think people generally appreciate that traditional type of police work, and I thoroughly enjoy it.

‘After 25 years, nowadays people know me by name and will come to me directly for help and advice. For example, I might get asked to speak to someone’s child if they’re worried about them falling in with the wrong crowd, and I’m always happy to do it. Preventing crime in the first place is the ultimate goal.’

The King’s Police Medal is awarded by His Majesty The King as part of his New Year and Birthday Honours lists and recognises those who have achieved a specially distinguished record in policing”.


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