A caring cop from the Braes has proved police work isn’t all about chasing criminals and unruly youngsters around.
Popular PC Derek Wallace, who lives in the area, received two awards for his commitment to youth development and community work last week.
The community officer, whose beat includes Avonbridge, Limerigg, Slamannan and Standburn, was given the Falkirk Council Enterprise in Education Champion Award for his work with pupils from Slamannan Primary School last Wednesday.
The council asks school communities to nominate someone who has been an inspiration to children and is innovative in their approach to improving their lives through activities. But the accolades didn’t stop there.
The following day he was guest of honour at Polmont Rotary Club’s weekly meeting to be presented with the group’s Community Award, this time after being nominated by Wallacestone Primary School teacher Karen Hervey.
Mrs Hervey said the PC is a great credit to his community.
She said: “Derek used to be the janitor here before he joined the police, but he has always remained a committed member of the school’s community.
“He continued to coach the football team and organised events, many outside of school and working hours, to take the children to tournaments. They have certainly benefited from this, recently winning the Jubilee Cup.
“He often comes into school at weekends and even after a night shift when he could be in his bed catching up on some well-earned sleep.
“Overall he is a genuine, caring person who is a great asset to Wallacestone and bends over backwards to do anything that is asked of him.”
One pupil at Slamannan Primary added: “PC Wallace is really fun and helpful. He helped the P2 class find out who vandalised the school.
“He told P5/6 about drugs and he let the P6/7s have a shot of the speed gun.
“He also helps us to think about what we have done wrong so we don’t get in trouble so often.”
The humble PC said he was surprised to receive the awards and insisted he isn’t the only one deserving of praise.
He said: “I’m a Braes boy and always want to do my best for the area.
“It’s a great area with great people and I’m only a part of a big team.
“I’m overwhelmed by these awards. It’s very nice, but not something I expected.”