He’s one of the most familiar faces in Horncastle but last weekend Keith Briggs took off his uniform for the very last time.
Keith has been one of Horncastle PCSOs for the last 13 years.
Indeed, he was the town’s very first PCSO when he ‘signed on’ for duty in September 2003.
Last weekend marked his final patrol after he decided to hang up his hand-cuffs and retire.
Keith told the News: “I’ve enjoyed the last 13 years but, as they say, all good things must come to an end.
“I still love the job but I decided a few months ago that I was going to retire this month and I’m sticking with that.”
At the age of 67, Keith believes he’s one of the oldest serving officers in Lincolnshire.
He says he will miss the job and, in particular, the community of Horncastle’s he’s helped protect.
Keith adds: “I can still remember the start of my first shift.
“I don’t think any of the serving officers knew who I was - or anything about the role. I turned up at Horncastle Police Station and they must have wondered who I was.
“I just said - ‘right lads, who wants a cup of tea?’ and that was it.”
Keith has lost count of the number of incidents he’s attended - and the offenders he’s helped arrest.
He is one of the few PCSO’s in the county to receive a bravery commendation from a judge for his role in chasing the driver of a stolen concrete mixer.
At the other end of the scale, he recently saved the life of a sheep he’d spotted in difficulty on a Wolds farm.
Keith explains: “I saw the sheep was ‘far-whetted’- there’s a good Lincolnshire phrase for you. It basically means a sheep ends up on its back, panics, sweats and is too wet to stand up again. I helped it back on its feet and, as far as I know, it is still alive today!
“That’s this job. One minute rescuing a sheep, the next attending a serious road accident.”
Keith, born and bred in the Horncastle area, formerly helped manage Cadwell Park and the town’s bicycle shop before joining the force.
He admits he’s worried how cuts will affect future policing.
He will spend his retirement travelling with wife Mary - and at their new home in Louth.
- when they aren;t traveloing the world.