ONE of the town centre’s best known bobbies is leaving the force after more than 35 years.
Sgt John McFadzean’s retirement on Thursday comes shortly after he received recognition from the Queen for his service.
And he enters civilian life claiming he is “once a policeman, always a policeman.”
He said: “I have mixed feelings about it.
“I’ve been in the force 35 years and it has never been a case of counting down to retirement – I still really enjoy the job.
“It will take a long time to get used to being a civilian. Once a policeman, always a policeman.”
Mr McFadzean, 55, joined the police in 1975 and had his first posting in Chapeltown, Leeds, as a Pc.
He moved to Huddersfield in 1976 where he worked in Kirkburton for four years before becoming one of the first town centre community officers.
Roles in vice and CID followed and, as logistics manager for the division, he was in charge of setting up incident rooms for high-profile cases like the fatal shooting of Tariq Sattar at the Black Bull pub in Birkby in 1998.
In 1989 he moved to Halifax division before returning to Huddersfield to take charge of the area control room in 1992.
Five years later he went back on patrol in Huddersfield but also worked on the robbery team as well as spending a year on Operation Lancet – an investigation into allegations that Cleveland police officers had offered drugs to prisoners in return for confessions.
He later joined the Huddersfield community safety unit and took on responsibility for the town centre, leading on vehicle and priority crime.
In his subsequent role as licensing sergeant for Kirklees, he ran a raid on La Salsa lap dancing club last year, which led to the arrest of the club’s owner on suspicion of immigration, fraud and money laundering offences.
He is still heavily involved in coaching athletics, and is a qualified coach and member of Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club.
He received the Queen’s Police Medal at Buckingham Palace for his work in services to children and the community.
The father-of-two, who lives in Holmfirth, said: “Some people see the police as just a job, but to me it is a vocation.
“The varied work I have done in many different roles over the years has made sure that I’ve always been fresh and remained interested and committed to doing the best I can.”
Chief Insp Phill Wright, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing in Kirklees, said: “John is a real credit to West Yorkshire Police and has been a fantastic servant to the people of Kirklees during his career, in ways that really are too numerous to mention.”
Sgt McFadzean’s role as licensing and town centre police team sergeant is being taken over by Sgt Mandy Mellor.
The 44-year-old mother-of-one has 24 years in the police, including positions in operations and planning and the Kirklees Anti-Social Behaviour Unit.
She said: “I wanted a new challenge, but John’s boots are some big ones to fill.”