THE Head of Dudley District Special Constabulary has been awarded a prestigious policing award, for his dedication in continuing to volunteer for the force while battling cancer.

James Horton, aged 34, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma last year.

Despite having to undergo regular chemotherapy treatments, James continued to give up his time to oversee the work of the more than 60 Special Constables, who support police around the borough by doing the same work without pay.

James, who is now in part remission, was awarded the Chief Constable Award for Outstanding Contribution to West Midlands Police at a ceremony in Birmingham earlier this month.

James, who is based at Brierley Hill Police Station, said: “I’m extremely proud and humbled to receive the award. More importantly I’m just glad I’m still here to get it and be able to carry on with the work.”

The officer has been working with the specials for over a decade and now heads a team of all ages and from all walks of life.

James added: “The youngest special I have is 18, while the oldest is 65 and they have a variety of day jobs, from a nurse, an accountant, a mechanic to a train driver.

“I’ve always been enthusiastic for what I do. If you are going to volunteer for something you need to love doing it and everyday I’m encouraged and inspired by my team.”

Dudley Chief Superintendent Stuart Johnson said; "James is dedicated to his role and has always undertaken his duties with professionalism and enthusiasm. He is highly regarded amongst the senior leadership team and respected by his colleagues.

"It is due to his hard work and devotion to the Dudley borough that District Officer James Horton has been awarded the prestigious Chiefs Constables Award."