Goodbye to Pontypridd's longest serving officer

South Wales Police is bidding farewell to its longest serving officer in Pontypridd.

Pc Kevin O'Mahony retired from the force on July 15, 35 years after joining the police service as a cadet.

He has carried out the vast majority of his long service in Pontypridd areas and today he retires as beat manager for the Rhondda ward where he has spent the last 14 years.

Pc O'Mahony is one of the few officers who can claim to have spent his entire career on the streets after beginning his service with the cadets in 1974 at the age of 17.

He joined the regulars the following year - the same year that comedian Charlie Chaplin was knighted, Muhammad Ali retained the world heavyweight boxing championship after defeating his arch-rival, Joe Frazier, in the so-called Thrilla in Manila, and the British Conservative Party chose Margaret Thatcher as its new leader.

When he started work at Pontypridd Police Station his colleagues working on the front counter were known as the 'war bobbies' having served during the Second World War.

"When I was a little boy all I wanted to be was a copper," said Pc O'Mahony.

"One of the reasons I joined was because of an old bobby in Mountain Ash where I grew up. He was more than 6ft 1in tall, which you had to be in those days, and he knew everyone and everything. He was the man and I had so much respect for him.

"I still believe being a police officer is the best job in the world as you have the ability to make a difference to people's lives.

"There is nothing better than being able to tell a victim of crime that someone has been arrested or being able to return stolen possessions.

"The organisation and my colleagues have looked after me my whole adult life for which I am extremely grateful. I shall miss working for South Wales Police and helping to take care of the community."

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Kevin O'Neill said: "I have known Kevin for all my service which is over 30 years and he remains as enthusiastic and professional today as when he first joined.

"He is excellent role model to younger officers and I will be very sad to see him leave. I wish him all the very best for the future."

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