A popular Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) described as the “heart of Ryburn” is celebrating a decade of serving the local community.
PCSO George Serban, a Romanian national who came to the United Kingdom 1996, first signed up to be a PCSO in September 2004 and has been credited with helping to cut anti-social behaviour on his Ryburn beat.
PCSO Serban, who left a job in the textile industry to join the police because he said he wanted to do his bit for the community, believes he still has plenty more to offer the force.
“The job was fine but I wanted to do something that little bit different, something that helped make a difference to my local area,” said PCSO Serban.
“Becoming a PCSO has been the perfect way to do that - during my decade with West Yorkshire Police I hope I have achieved that and hope to continue doing so for many years to come.
“I would like to become a Police Constable one day. It’s one of my life ambitions really. I have tried in the past and I will try again.
“At the moment I enjoy what I’m doing. I really enjoy the area where I work and the job that I do.
“I still think I’ve got a lot more to give.”
As well as providing a highly visible and reassuring presence on the streets of Ryburn during routine patrols, PCSO Serban has been involved in countless extra activities including visiting local schools to give road safety talks and helped Beechwood Tenants and Residents Organisation obtain a grant to run and sustain a youth club to tackle concerns about anti-social behaviour in the area.
Susan Merry, chairman of the residents’ organisation, said: “We work with the local police in the local community and George has been outstanding with the work that he has put in.
“People know that they can trust him. We feel safer with him being here.”
PCSO Serban, who tutors new PCSOs when they first join the force, has also helped to set up a community garden in Sowerby.
“I’ve always looked to go above and beyond what is expected of me,” said PCSO Serban, who is a father-of-three.
“Being out and about and patrolling the local area is of course an important part of the job of a PCSO but it also allows me to be able to play a really significant role in subtle things that can help make a real difference.”
PCSO Serban’s work was recognised in 2012 when he was awarded a prestigious Divisional Commander’s award for exceptional service, dedication and commitment.
The District Commander for Calderdale, Chief Superintendent Angela Williams, praised the PCSO’s dedication to the community.
“George is the beating heart of Ryburn,” said Chf Supt Williams.
“He is a well-known figure who helps to make a real difference, day in, day out and is a shining example for all PCSOs to follow.
“George has come to the UK, learnt the language and put his all into the job - he is a fantastic representative of the role of PCSOs and of the force in general.”
Outside of work PCSO Serban is a keen runner and a member of the Stainland Lions Running Club. He ran his first marathon in April.