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Staffordshire signs Armed Forces covenant

Staffordshire has become the latest force to sign the Armed Forces covenant.

Support for former Service personnel and their families will be increased, Staffordshire’s chief has promised.

CC Chris Noble pledged to establish a dedicated Armed Forces network for ex-military and reservists who work for Staffordshire or have serving family.

The pledge, formally signed at the force’s headquarters, made four commitments:

Chief Constable Noble said: “The force has always supported those who serve or who have served in the armed forces and their families.

“I would like to thank those in the force who are members or veterans of the Armed Forces for the invaluable work that they do every day for the communities of Staffordshire.”

The force has a significant number of ex-military personnel among its staff and officers, as well as employees whose partners are currently serving.

Deployments are a critical time, especially when shift patterns are involved.

Detective Superintendent Nicki Furlong, whose husband served as a Sergeant in the Royal Air Force, is one example.

He has been deployed to Afghanistan, the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Crete and Oman.

Det Supt Furlong said: “Most people miss their other half if they go on holiday for a week, so when it’s months at a time without any communication, it can incredibly difficult to deal with.

“I’m lucky to have such a fantastic relationship with my supervisor and the team who have supported me so well. When my husband was first deployed, they brought some pyjamas with his face printed on them, along with a box of chocolates and a big box of snacks. I knew they were all there for me and were so supportive.”

She added: “The signing of the covenant will make more people aware of the pressure families face during deployments.”

PC George Cooper, who previously served in Afghanistan and the Mediterranean, said the commitment would help recruit and retain staff.

He said: “The fact that we are now signed up to the covenant also acknowledges our commitment to armed forces personnel, making Staffordshire Police an attractive future employer for service leavers and their families.”

The force’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Ben Adams, is fully behind the force’s decision: “By signing the covenant, Staffordshire Police is showing its commitment to supporting past and present members of the Armed Forces as well as those who are close to them.”  

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