A FERMANAGH man who has spent over 30 years working as a police officer in Northern Ireland has said it was “really humbling” to learn that he was to be recognised in the New Year Honours.

Superintendent Alywin Barton (52), who is from Kesh, has received the Queen’s Policing Medal (QPM) for services to policing and the community across the province.

The father-of-two has been a police officer for 34 years and has served mainly in county Fermanagh and neighbouring Tyrone.

He has established many collaborative partnerships with a diverse range of organisations helping to build community confidence in policing.

Supt. Barton played an integral part in planning the 2013 G8 Summit and was responsible for the operational engagement plan.

He has also recently worked on delivering a blueprint for the continued delivery of community policing in Northern Ireland.

Speaking to the Impartial Reporter this week, admitted that he was “completely speechless” when he received the letter informing him about the award.

“My heart’s been in community policing right from the start,” the long-serving officer said.

“It was really humbling to get the letter. I think it was the first time in my life when I’ve been completely speechless!

“Then, it was time for me to sit down and reflect. Some of my friends and colleagues didn’t live long enough to earn that award.

“I’ve also had the enormous pleasure to work with people in the community who had the courage and bravery to stand up to others who didn’t want to see Northern Ireland progress.”

He added: “Northern Ireland is a different place to what it was like when I started in the policing college in September 1983.”

After completing his training, the Fermanagh man spent the first six years of his policing career in Dungannon.

In 1991, he returned to his home county to serve as a sergeant in Lisnaskea.

Four years later, he was promoted to inspector and was first based in Enniskillen before being moved to Clogher.

In 2006 a further promotion to chief inspector saw him return to Enniskillen.

After another three years he was on the move again, this time to Omagh as a superintendent.

At the present time, Supt. Barton is currently based at the PSNI’s headquarters in Belfast, where he is managing a project within District Policing Command.

Prior to this, he had served as Operations Superintendent for the PSNI’s South Region, which includes Fermanagh and Omagh.

He expects to return to this role once the project is completed.

“I’m blessed to have a career I really enjoy. It’s a job I love,” he said.

Looking ahead to when he will be presented with his QPM, Supt. Barton said he will be “really pleased” to give his wife and daughters a good day out.

“A few family occasions have been spoiled over the years due to the nature of my work. It’s nice to give something back and they’re well chuffed,” he added.