Published: 18:39, 13 July 2020
| Updated: 20:28, 13 July 2020
New recruits welcomed to Kent Police have this year taken part in a passing out parade with a slight difference.
Despite the challenges brought by Covid-19, the 55 new officers were welcomed to the force on Friday as the traditional ceremony still went ahead.
All the normal procedures were followed, including a salute to and an inspection of officers by the Chief Constable, keeping to the two-metre social distancing rules.
But instead of sitting in the stands, friends and family this time had to watch from the safety of their cars at the Kent Police Training College in Maidstone while officials congratulated the recruits who will now start their duties.
The parade is a memorial occasion for every officer who completes their training. The force was keen that despite the challenges faced by social distancing, the event could still take place.
Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: "A passing out parade is an important part of an officer’s life, not only for them, but for their families. It’s a moment to celebrate that all their hard work has paid off and an event that stays in their memories forever.
"We were determined not to let it pass by so I’m delighted we were able to welcome families once again to see our new officers join an outstanding force, all the while keeping everyone safe."
The Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, said: "Kent Police is on course to soon have more police officers than at any point in its history. This has been made possible thanks to additional investment from Government as well as money I raised through local council tax.
"It was a pleasure to witness some of this next generation of Kent Police officers complete their initial training on Friday. The parade had to be adapted in light of the pandemic, but what never changes is the pride clearly visible across the faces of each group of new officers and their loved ones."
More by this authorLiane Castle
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