THE RUBERY community will soon be bidding a fond farewell to Safer Neighbourhood Officer PC Tim Burling who is retiring after 28 years for West Mercia Police.
A special event and presentation is being held in the village’s St Chad’s Church at 11am on Friday so residents, traders and representatives of the Neighbourhood Watch, Rubery PACT (Partners and Communities Together) and Rubery In Bloom can say a big thank you to him.
PC Burling, whose last last day of work will be February 28, began his police career with West Midlands Police in West Bromwich where he joined as a special constable in 1987. He served in that role for two years before becoming a regular police officer with West Mercia on October 23, 1989.
After training at the Cwmbran District Police Training Centre, Wales, he was posted to Kidderminster Police Station where he served his two-year probation before being posted to Hagley Police Station on February 17, 1992.
PC Burling served with CID for a short time before moving to Rubery in July 1995 and then on the Redditch-based response team where he successfully qualified as a police advanced driver.
He took up a post on the divisional traffic team at Rubery Police Station in November 1998 worked on the fast response cars in both Bromsgrove and Redditch between 2000 and 2005.
In June 2005 PC Burling was posted to the Local Policing Team at Rubery Police Station and, apart from a three year period between February 2006 and 2009 where he was again response officer in Bromsgrove, he remained in the village for the rest of his career.
In February 2012 he became the Local Policing Officer for Rubery and then Local Policing Officer for Rubery and Hagley in 2012.
PC Burling said: “I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve as a police officer, however the best years of my career have been the last nine years working on the local policing team at Rubery.
“During that period, I consider myself privileged to have been supported by the community and have made many good friends along the way.”
He said he hoped he had made a difference to the quality of life of many residents and one incident would stay with him forever.
“Back in June 2005, I was looking forward to going off duty after a long shift when a three-year-old child was reported missing.”
He said all officers remained on duty in a bid to find the boy who had not been seen for several hours.
“After a long and meticulous search, I found the child asleep under an old car in a garage nearby.
“The look of joy and relief on the faces of the lad’s parents will remain with me forever as we carried the lad back to them.
“It was reward enough for me and is what policing is all about.
“It’s about making a difference.”
Philip Payne, the vice-chairman of Rubery Neighbourhood Watch, said: “We want to say a big thank you to Tim for all he has done for Rubery and wish him well for the future.”
When asked what he was planning to do with his extra free time PC Burling said he was planning to ‘put his feet up for a while’ and think about what he was going to do.
“I plan to do some voluntary work and I have a couple of things in mind but other than that I am just going to enjoy my retirement,” he added.