AN OFFICER who has been recognised as the borough’s best said he was passionate about making a difference.
PC Rob Brooke, who is based at Maltby Police Station, was given the accolade of Officer of the Year by Rotherham’s District Commander, Chief Supt Steve Chapman.
PC Brooke (29), who lives in Rotherham, first joined the police as a special constable, following in the footsteps of a gym colleague who was doing the same role.
He volunteered at Main Street Police Station but his full-time career as an officer began at West Yorkshire Police where he worked as a response officer in Pudsey.
He worked there for two years before joining the criminal investigation department in Leeds, where he worked for 18 months.
PC Brooke transferred to South Yorkshire Police two-and-a-half years ago and joined the team at Maltby Police Station.
“I have got no family who are in the police and I had no real prior knowledge of the police before I joined,” he said.
“I’m quite caring, so I thought I would give it a go and see what it’s like.
“I fell in love with the job and I fell in love with the fact that not only can I educate criminals who perhaps haven’t had the same opportunities I’ve had, but I can help protect the vulnerable.
“I’m quite passionate about making a difference.”
PC Brooke said he was aware of the strained relationship between the public and police but he wanted to work to improve it.
“The relationship between the public and the police has been very fragile,” he said. “I have quite enjoyed coming and trying to rebuild that trust between members of the public and the police.”
PC Brooke is set to have a change of direction in his policing career, having signed up for an intensive 13-week firearms training course.
“I like putting myself out of my comfort zone,” he said.
“In the current society we are in, especially with terrorism, I want to be part of that visible presence where people aren’t afraid to go out.
“By having a firearms officer in places such as Meadowhall, or out and about, I want to give people that bit of confidence.”
PC Brooke said he did not do his job to get awards but it was nice to be recognised.
Chief Supt Chapman said: “We have great officers and staff across our district.
“What made Rob stand out was the quality of his investigations, the amount of work he gets through and most importantly his care and compassion for victims across Rotherham.”
l PC Brooke receiving his award from Rotherham District Commander, Chief Supt Steve Chapman