In December 2016, Mark Kendrew (73-83) was appointed Special Constabulary Chief Officer (SCO) for Hertfordshire.
The SCO role was developed after a decline in recruitment of Special Constables in Hertfordshire. After a review, it was decided that the Specials would be best led by a volunteer, who would hold the rank of Special Chief Officer and be fully integrated in the Chief Constable’s Chief Officer Group.
Mark is one of a handful of SCOs in England and Wales to be appointed as a direct entrant (i.e. without prior policing experience) to the role. He is a member of the Chief Constable's leadership team based at Police HQ in Welwyn Garden City. He has specific responsibility for leading 240 Special Constables in Hertfordshire, who have the same powers as regular Police Constables. Last year, they volunteered a total of 60,000 hours of their spare time to police their local communities.
Mark has worked for over 30 years in Government and industry, specialising in: cyber security; technology and information services; and business leadership. Currently, he is the Director of his own cyber security company and an interim Chief Information Security Officer, working as a strategic advisor to a global bank based in London.
Outside of work, 11 years in the Territorial Army as a communications officer, and his role as Chairman of the Civilian Committee for the Berkhamsted Squadron, RAF Air Cadets, have given Mark insights into leading volunteers. It is no surprise, therefore, that when he saw the advert for the SCO role he applied and accepted the role on 9th December 2016.
2017 has been a year of change and development for Mark. He commented: “Whilst my military, Central Government and cyber security experience were of tremendous value, I recognised the need to rapidly gain experience of policing so that I could be an effective and understanding leader of the Specials. I therefore embarked on a customised training programme to become a Special Constable, whist still leading the Specials.”
Within two months of taking up post, Mark had appointed a temporary leadership team that worked with him to develop a new vision and strategic plan for the Special Constabulary. The plans were centred on the vision that “Every Special Constable’s contribution should be needed, valued, developed, rewarding and enjoyable.”
The importance of the Special Constabulary was highlighted earlier this year, when officers from Hertfordshire successfully supported three counter terrorism operations and, for the first time in the UK, deployed cyber specialists to help a local hospital recover from a major ransomware attack.
Mark is very proud to be playing a part in shaping the future of the Special Constabulary and recognises the commitment and dedication of all Special Constables in Hertfordshire.
He said: “I have been out on patrol across the County with both Special and Regular Constables, and have been both impressed and humbled by their professionalism, the quality of their service and the compassion with which they deal with anyone who needs their help.”
Mark and the Special Constables of Hertfordshire have achieved a lot already, but this is only the start of a major programme of change which will be rolled out over the next few years and hopes to significantly increase the number of Special Constables and develop new career paths for them.
If you are interested in finding out about becoming a Special Constable in Hertfordshire then please see www.hertspolicespecials.co.uk. If you would like to know more about the Special Constabulary operating in your area, then please see your local police website.