Police work takes a special type of person, but a Scottish special constable has been recognised by The Queen for going above and beyond as the only full-time police presence on the Isle of Jura.
Special Constable Donald Ewen Darroch, who combines policing duties with a day job as an estate manager, was one of the everyday heroes recognised during the investiture ceremony held at Buckingham Palace Wednesday.
Darroch has served as a volunteer officer for more than 22 years on the Isle of Jura, which is part of the Hebridean islands. He was “extremely grateful” and said it was a “complete surprise” to have been awarded an MBE by the Prince of Wales.Embed from Getty Images
“It’s a role I very much enjoy and I’m glad I am able to do so much for my island community,” Darroch said in a press release from Police Scotland. “I joined, many years ago, as a special at the same time as my cousin, after the local Inspector asked us to consider it because the existing special constable was retiring. I’ve been volunteering ever since.”
The special constable, whose two sons are both full-time officers with Police Scotland, added, “Traditionally, island employers allowed anyone who volunteered for the emergency services to drop their work tasks and turn out for duty, as required, and I’m very lucky I can still do that.”
“Because I’m the only officer permanently based on the island, I’ve got to do a lot more than many other specials ever would. I’ve been called out to situations that a special constable in another location would possibly never experience but also got to assist with major events like Royal visits, and the World War One commemorations on Islay.”
Others recognised during the ceremony include Luke Ridley, who was awarded The Queen’s Gallantry Medal for pulling a motorist from a burning car in November 2019; Dame Laura Lee of Maggie’s Centres cancer charity, of which the Duchess of Cornwall is president; and Scottish TV presenter Shereen Nanjiani.
“Just driving to work and saw a car come off the road in front of me and stopped to help, and while I was doing it the car set alight with a lady inside,” Ridley said in a video shared on the Clarence House Twitter account.
“I managed to get into the car with tools that I had in my van and I managed to free her because she was struggling to get out of her seatbelt. I managed to drag her free of the car, we all walked away, everybody was fine, everybody was happy, the car was a complete blaze. And yeah so, it was incredibly lucky.”