Ello, ello, ello, cop a load of this...Ballycastle police chief, Bryan Hume has decided to ‘call it a day’ after over 30 years service!
Former Inspector Hume ‘joined up’ on 19th August 1984 straight from school as a 19-year-old boy.
One of the last squads to train at Enniskillen, Bryan’s first station was at Eglinton, County Londonderry, where he not only began his career but also met his wife.
He then moved to Shantallow as ‘Eglinton was too quiet for a young Constable’, before gaining his Sergeant’s exam at Strand Road and getting married in 1987.
Speaking to the Times, Bryan explained: “I then moved to Cloughmills, where I started my learning for Neighbourhood Policing, then Larne where I was promoted to Sergeant. I then moved to Ballymena and then back to Larne where I returned as I enjoyed the work and the area.
“My eighth station was Magherafelt, as I tried to move closer to Coleraine where I was still living, and now had a daughter Zara.
“Maghera was next, where I passed my Inspector’s exam, before acting up for a period in Magherafelt.
“I then moved to Coleraine, where I acted up for a while, before being promoted. Here began my learning of the Neighbourhood Inspector role and the benefits of Neighbourhood Policing to the community.
“Waterside in Londonderry was my next stop and saw my promotion to Inspector. I ended up being the only Neighbourhood Inspector for all of the Waterside area including, Claudy, Eglinton, and the Waterside side of the City. It was strange, as I was officially back to where I had started.”
From a teenage boy to now a husband and father, Bryan’s return to the Maiden City was to become another ‘new beginning’.
“I saw massive changes when I returned to the City,” he explained. “The difference 12 years and the beginning had made to policing the city was immense.
“Sein Fein had not yet come onto the Policing Board, but the other political buy-ins made policing much improved for the community. This was when the District Policing Party was in its infancy and was one of the first stages of the community getting involved.
“However, I didn’t stay for long and my 12th, and last move was to Ballycastle station, where I met my most challenging role and many friends!
“I moved to the station as a Operations Manger when Moyle was still a District Command Unit, with a Chief Inspector. But in 2012, I was successful in a temporary promotion process and became temporary area Commander of Ballymena and Larne for six months.
“Following this, I was offered a position on what became the service’s first project to improve Policing in Northern Ireland, and with an ever decreasing budget, this began in H district. This was adopted in H district and is currently moving to all districts in the country.
“Following this project, I returned to Ballycastle, though still attending meeting in the development of the process.”
With over 30 years under his belt, Bryan has seen many changes within the Police Service – although he highlights that ‘some things’ like crime and tragedies unfortunately stay the same.
He continued: “What has changed in 30 years? For some things very little, we still attend accidents, burglaries etc and try to make what is a tragedy for a member of the public as easy as possible.
“For this I have been thanked by a wide variety of people, from the old lady who has lost her husband to Martin McGuinness when we attended his uncle’s sudden death. We have a job to do, and I believe I did it to the best of my ability throughout all the years.
“I have also seen much disorder during my service, from Drumcree to riots in Londonderry and Belfast, to the flag process, and thankfully a peaceful G8 that showed Northern Ireland at its best.
“I have been trained as a PSU Commander and a Bronze Commander looking after events on the ground from the Lammas Fair to band parades to the Giro Italia.
“I was also a Silver Commander taking overall control of events such as all the parades in H district on Black Saturday to the last Portrush Air Show and many other events in between.
“However, good and bad, they have all been memories which I will treasure and experiences I have learnt and developed from.”
Now looking to the future, Bryan believes working in partnership with the community is the way forward and has enjoy his year’s in Ballycastle putting these steps in place.
He concluded: “I have enjoyed especially my last year’s in Ballycastle, when I believe Policing has become more professional and community based.
“I have enjoyed working with the Council, including all their departments, but mostly with Adrian Proctor, and then Bridgeen Butler, in the DPP, then PCSP. There were times I would have spent half my day moving from office to office solving issues together.
“I also enjoyed being part of Ballycastle Town Partnership, being proud to be selected as Chair for three years.
“This was outside my normal role, but showed how far Policing has come on. I have also had a very good relationship with the licencees in Ballycastle and the business people in and out of the Chamber of Commerce.
“And what next for me? Well I’m too young to retire...so I have started working on disciplinary panels in London and intend to do other public appointment type jobs using the skills that the Police has given me over the years.
“I have made many friends in Moyle over the years, and I cannot see me being a total stranger. So if I’m ever near the town I’ll definitely be popping in to say ‘ello, ello, ello!”