Volunteer officers want to be the best in the country

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NEW leaders of a police force’s volunteer officers are aiming to make their team the best in the country as they take up their posts.

Mike Cleasby has been appointed chief officer and Dale Checksfield superintendent of Durham Constabulary’s specials.

Mr Cleasby has served as a special with Cleveland Police for more than 18 years and has worked in social care for 20 years.

As part of his new role he hopes to build links with businesses and develop an employer-supported policing scheme, while continuing to develop and increase the numbers of special constables.

Special Superintendent Checksfield, a former South Tyneside College student and Navy officer, holds the title in both his police role and day job as a master mariner.

He works for an oil exploration company and he transferred from Northumbria Special Constabulary to Durham in 2009.

He served first as a special constable, then as special sergeant before returning to the role of constable to serve with the roads policing unit specials team, set up 18 months ago.

Special Constables are required to contribute a minimum of 16 hours a month to policing and, following successful completion of a comprehensive training programme, Durham specials can undertake a wide variety of policing duties.