A NEWPORT man who served the city for 44 years as a special constable is to retire.

Special Chief Officer Peter Howells, 66, from St Woolos, is to retire from the Special Constabulary after more than four decades of service to local communities.

Mr Howells began his Special Constabulary volunteering career with South Wales Police in September 1969 and joined Gwent Police in 1972 after moving to Newport for a job. He started out covering the city centre beat, based near the Civic Centre.

At the same time he worked a full-time job as a senior technical trainer with South Wales Electricity and SWALEC before retiring in 2000 and working as a part-time consultant.

As a special constable he worked his way up to Special Constabulary Sergeant in 1980; became Inspector in 1981; Divisional Commandant in Newport in 1982; appointed to Headquarters commandant in in1992; Deputy Chief Officer in 1995 and Chief Officer in 1996.

He represents the Welsh region at Special Constabulary National Coordination Group for national policy meetings, he was a founding member of the National Strategy Project Team and a member of the National Recruitment Standard Project team.

He said: “I was inspired to join the Specials in Merthyr Tydfil, and soon into my service I found police work fascinating. It was very different to my job as an engineer, but interesting in another way.

“At each change in rank, new challenges were presented and I hope I took the challenge as a development opportunity.

“Having the opportunity to influence and drive forward the Special Constabulary at a national level made me proud and humbled at what was achieved.”

Mr Howells received an OBE in 2005 for his work with the Special Constabulary and the Mountain Rescue Service.

DCC Lorraine Bottomley said: “I would like to congratulate Peter on his service with the Special Constabulary both in Gwent and South Wales Police, and indeed the other causes he volunteers for, and I wish him all the very best for his retirement.

“He has been such an asset to Gwent Police and we are extremely grateful to him as we are to all the other Specials who give up their spare time to dedicate themselves to the communities they serve.”

Mr Howells is due to retire in July but his position is being advertised now.

For more information or to download an application form visit corporate.gwent.police.uk/careers/specialconstable/

Application forms must be returned to Centralrecruitment@gwent.pnn.police.uk by 4pm on January 9, 2014.