A WEST MIDLANDS top cop and two other officers have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Payne and PC Stewart Bladen have both been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in recognition of their decades of dedication to policing.
PCSO Rob Capella – who is known to many as Mr Lozells – will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his community work.
ACC Payne has spent more than 25 years in the force and been heavily involved in solving serious crimes.
The 49-year-old has worked predominantly as a detective and been commander of force CID and the head of our homicide team – playing a lead role in more than 200 murder investigations.
The father-of-two said: “I am absolutely delighted, it was a total shock when I found out and it came completely out of the blue.
“I’ve been fortunate to work as part of some great teams in ensuring we’ve taken some of the worst criminals off the streets. There is always a sense of satisfaction and pride in that.
“But this award will certainly also be one of the proudest moments of my career. It is a special moment to share with my family.”
PC Bladen has also been honoured for his contribution in keeping supporters safe at local, national and international football fixtures.
The 48-year-old has been with the force for 28 years and initially operated in traffic and as a beat bobby in Walsall.
But he moved onto the football unit 14 years ago and spent the last decade as dedicated officer for Aston Villa.
He has helped to ensure the safety of fans – and catch those who cause trouble – both home and abroad having also been a spotter at international tournaments ranging from Brazil, France to Russia.
The father-of-three said: “It still feels surreal but I’m deeply honoured.
“I’ve had some great experiences being part of West Midlands Police and the football unit, but it’s hard to top this.”
PCSO Capella, from the Lozells neighbourhood team, has also been honoured with a BEM in recognition of his outstanding work in the community.
The 62-year-old initially joined as a Special before becoming a police community support officer 14 years ago.
The grandfather-of-one is a prominent figure around Lozells having established firm links with schools, churches, mosques, shopkeepers and members of the community.
He said: “I never expected to ever receive an award as I just see it as doing my job. But it’s such an honour and I’m delighted.”