Officer remembered for dedication and bravery by family and colleagues
- Credit: Supplied by Hawkes family
A much-loved and admired policeman has been remembered by colleagues and family for his courage and kindness.
Sergeant John Hawkes recently lost a long and hard-fought battle with cancer, at the age of 53.
He followed his father into the force – working alongside him for two weeks before his retirement.
Daughter Emma is just starting as a constable – moving from the Incident and Crime Management Hub (ICMH), where she works as a police support investigator.
Emma will inherit the epaulettes used by her father, while her grandfather’s epaulettes have been reserved for Sgt Hawkes’ youngest daughter, Amy, if she decides to join the ranks after beginning her own policing career by spending two weeks with her big sister in the ICMH.
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Sgt Hawkes, from Ipswich, also helped to inspire his daughter’s cousins, Dc Natalie Cole and Marie-Claire Orris, into working in the constabulary, with Natalie having spent time working as a young Pc with her uncle.
In a career that included time in response and neighbourhood support teams, Sgt Hawkes most enjoyed his traffic policing days.
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Outside work, he loved animals and cars – often combining the two by driving his BMW Z4 with dog Tycho in the passenger seat.
A memory book at Sgt Hawkes’ funeral was filled with stories from friends at work, including the time he and colleagues boxed an escaped bullock on the A12.
Donations were made in his memory to St Elizabeth Hospice and the Police Benevolent Fund.
Sgt Hawkes was described as a professional, dedicated and friendly man, who continued to work from home, and even from a hospital bed, during his illness.
Emma, who was working in the ICMH when her father was in a neighbourhood support team, said: “Dad was a brave man, who was always happy to lend a hand.
“He never let cancer get him down and was always the first to crack a joke. He was much loved and admired by his family, and his colleagues. He will be forever remembered as nothing less than heroic.”
Sgt Hawkes received five certificates of appreciation, a letter of appreciation, a long service and good conduct award in 2010, and the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit in 1997, when he was also nominated for the Sheepshanks Trophy – awarded to the officer or staff member judged to have given the most outstanding community service.