Two senior Kent Police officers have been recognised with awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their contributions to keeping the communities of Kent safe

two senior kent police officers have been recognised with awards in the queens birthday honours for their contributions to keeping the communities of kent safe

Deputy Chief Constable Tony Blaker has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal, given to officers for meritorious service in keeping the public safe.

Superintendent Jason Wenlock has been awarded the British Empire Medal for helping improve the life chances of hundreds of the county’s most vulnerable youngsters by driving the creation of the force’s ground-breaking cadet scheme.

Chief Constable of Kent Police Alan Pughsley QPM said: ‘I am delighted that the achievements of DCC Blaker and Supt Wenlock have been recognised in this way; it is testament to their hard work and dedication to the public of Kent.

‘They are both talented police officers, representing the very best of this force, and I congratulate them on their fully deserved awards from Her Majesty.’

Mr Blaker took up the role of Deputy Chief Constable in June 2018 having previously worked as an Assistant Chief Constable in charge of central operations responsible for crime investigation, public protection and counter-terrorism among other areas.

He joined the force from Sussex Police where he spent the first 26 years of his career and where his last post had been head of operations command with responsibility for firearms, public order, roads and Gatwick Airport.

He also ran complex, large scale operations such as Brighton Pride and the Lewes Bonfire celebrations and was strategic commander for the police response to the 2015 Shoreham air crash.

Mr Blaker said: ‘Policing is all about teamwork. There is an incredibly professional and hard working team at Kent Police that it has been my privilege to work alongside, serving and protecting the public.

‘Policing is a vocation as much as a career and I’m extremely proud to have been nominated for and receive this award.’

Supt Wenlock established the Kent Police cadet scheme, which since 2015 has given over 600 young people a start on a pathway to a career in the police either as a regular officer, Special constable or member of police staff.

He has also been responsible for driving the force’s volunteer programme, and he volunteers as a Cadet Leader in Dover in his off duty time.

Supt Wenlock said: ‘Our police cadets are nothing short of incredible for the way in which they have grown and adapted to every challenge placed in front of them.

‘It has been my privilege to have been worked with them and seen them grow into truly impressive young people with a bright future ahead of them.

‘We have already seen many cadets join the force and we have more seeking to apply. We continue to grow and develop the programme and still have over 300 young people waiting to join us from all over the county.
‘They are a credit to themselves, their families and the force.’

Supt Wenlock has also developed an innovative training programme that trains volunteer Special Constables to the same standard as full-time officers – the only police force to offer such a programme.

In Kent, Special Constables are given the same powers, equipment and responsibilities as regular officers.

The force currently employs 300 Special constables, who offer more than 100,000 hours  each year of police time.

Kent Special Constabulary was the first in the country to be awarded the highest national award for Volunteering, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in 2014.

Supt Wenlock joined Kent Police in August 1997 after a ten-year career in the British Army during which time he served in the first Gulf War, Germany, the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland and Kosovo.

After joining Kent Police as a constable, he served in uniform local policing roles in Medway, Dover, Canterbury, and Ashford.
He said: ‘I am completely stunned and delighted with this Honour.  I have a job I love doing, in the best police force in the country, with the best leaders, so this award is just incredible on top of all that.  I’m really proud of our cadets, and this Honour is as much for them as it is for me’.

Chief Officer of the Kent Special Constabulary Gavin McKinnon CF, said: ‘I am extremely pleased for Superintendent Wenlock.  He has been the driving force behind Kent’s Cadet Program since its inception. He puts passion, enthusiasm, and 24/7 commitment into it.

‘He has personally mentored dozens of young people, some of whom are very vulnerable, and helped give them a real chance in life.
‘This prestigious award from Her Majesty is fitting recognition of this, and for his lifetime of public service in both the military and Kent Police.  His enthusiasm, dedication, and care for the people we serve in Kent is recognised in this fantastic achievement.’