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Somewhere out there this evening a police officer will think of @PoliceCommander in his last month of policing

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This was not how it was ment to be, John Sutherland announced he was being given medical retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service.

The last day that Commander John Sutherland will serve queen and country will be Wednesday 28th February 2018, what will be a very emotional day for the thin blue line will be a gain for John Sutherland’s next chapter.

He has done a remarkable job and touched our lives personally with each and every tweet and his grounded, honest and frank views on life and policing.

Police Commander is a truly inspirational and truly remarkable policing leader who has shaped and defined policing leadership and offering support for front-line policing he’s words melt in your mouth like butter they just freely flow from the page and no one else can say it like John Sutherland.

What is policing loss is a gain to the world, his words are perfect in every situation reassuring and supportive while being very open and frank about his own feelings and frame of mind which honestly makes us welcome John Sutherland into our hearts that little bit more.

Joining the police in 1992

John Sutherland joined the Met in September 1992 admittedly as a clueless 22-year old embarking on what he describes as the adventure of a lifetime. having fallen hopelessly in love with the job and the men and women who do it.

John intended like many others within his generation to fully see out each and every day of his 30 years, maybe even longer.

John admitted that “I even had a half-baked idea that I might try to make it to Chief Constable one day.” but “Then life happened”

Being open and honest in April 2013 at the age of 43 “I broke. I was off work for more than 7 months – a once capable man reduced entirely to rubble. Almost five years later, I’m a whole lot better than I was, but I realise that I’ve done myself some permanent damage along the way.

“I’m no longer strong enough to deal with the exhaustion and the strain. I can no longer manage the inevitable stress. And I appear to be completely unable to cope with the trauma of any kind – certainly not the kind of trauma encountered endlessly on the policing frontline.”

John goes on to say “That’s the painful privilege of this job – to venture repeatedly into the hurting places; to be there when lives are saved; to be there when they hang in the balance; to be there in the scattered mess of blood and bandages; to be there when lives are lost; to be there when news is broken; to be there when the shattered faces of loved ones crumple in grief. To be there on the inside of the fluttering blue and white tape.”

“Not now though. I’m no longer able to stand in those places. And I’m in awe of those who are. Time and again, I find myself stirred by the breathtaking courage and compassion of my colleagues. They have always been – and they remain – the everyday heroes and heroines who police our streets. I will miss them more than I can say.”

I will miss it all.

Throughout his career John does believe it has had it’s sliver linings having found the “extraordinary love of my wife; the unexpected hours and days spent with our three beautiful girls; the faithfulness of friends and the kindness of strangers; time and space to think and breathe and to learn how to rest in a world that is moving far too fast; the discovery of writing and of the healing to be found in telling stories; the opportunity to stand up and speak up for the things that have to matter more; the discovery of a thing called grace.”

“Life might, of necessity be slower these days – but it is also somehow deeper, richer and kinder.”

“Whatever happens now, I will always love this extraordinary job. I will always love the extraordinary people who do it. I will always celebrate their humanity and heroism. And I will always feel the pride of the finest kind.”

“Because I was a boy in blue.”

Order John Sutherland’s book now Blue: A memoir – keeping the peace and falling to Pieces.

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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