Life-saving police officer prepares for retirement

A Harlow police officer who saved the lives of three people during his career is to hang up his boots after 36 years' service.

Pc Terry Rackley began his career as a special constable in 1976 before becoming a full-time police officer two years later.

During his varied career, Terry served with Harlow dog section, the Force Information Room and as a traffic officer. "I have seen many changes in the past 35 years but, in my opinion, policing is still the best job you can have," he said.

Terry's first posting was as a beat officer in Harlow and five years later in 1983 he transferred to the town's dog unit as a dog handler. He scooped the runner up Dog Handler of the Year Award after finding and resuscitating a man who had left Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious condition and fallen into a ditch.

Terry, 56, also saved the life of an eight month old baby in a fire and received a Royal Humane Society Award for saving the life of a 12-year-old girl at the scene of a road crash. Terry is still in contact with the girl who is now in her 30s.

He said: "The satisfaction of finding a small child or a vulnerable person and taking them back safe and secure to family and friends, or placing a nasty criminal before the courts enabling the victims to have some sort of peace of mind and justice, or saving someone's life, is invaluable and immeasurable."

Terry is currently stationed at Harlow's Incident Management Unit until he officially retires on Saturday, February 25, 2012. He said: "I currently am a TRIM co-ordinator. That doesn't mean I'm good at keeping fit, it means I'm a Traumatic Risk Incident Manager. I help officers who have been involved in a traumatic incident who may need help and guidance in coming to terms with those experiences.

"I am also a Senior Family Liaison Officer which means I assist families to be able to deal with the death of a loved one as a result of a road traffic accident or any serious incident and to be the link between the family and the police.

"I am also a Traffic Legislation Advisor, a qualified counsellor and a Grievance, Fairplay and Diversity advisor."

Terry is now looking forward to his retirement during which he will be able to continue his hobbies which include being Chairman of the Harlow Referees Society. Terry is a senior county level five referee and, in 2008, received an outstanding achievement award for 45 years' service to football in Harlow. He said: "The satisfaction from doing a good job is immense. Every day we are faced with new challenges and you just get on with it, there is no other job like it.

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