It's farewell to Insp Steve Baker who leaves the force after 28 years to share his expertise with our colleagues at the College of Police.
Our loss is College of Police’s gain. This week we say farewell to our favourite bag-pipe playing, rugby-loving, bobby who has done some incredible work to spread the word about mental health.
Inspector Steve Baker has landed the role of national Mental Health advisor for the College of Policing and National Police Chief’s Council.
While he recently said farewell to his colleagues in Northumbria, Steve hopes he can continue to breakdown the stigma associated with mental health across England and Wales.
Insp Baker played an integral part in introducing the force's Street Triage Team, which is a dedicated team of mental health specialists who are on hand to deal with those in a mental health crisis scenario - a scheme which has been recognised as greatly improving the effectiveness of the response from officers and staff as well as the quality of care afforded to those who become unwell.
Steve came to Newcastle from Scotland nearly 30 years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer and he is still as passionate about the service as he was when he first joined.
Ins Baker said: "My stepfather was a police officer and I knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I came to Newcastle back in 1991 and I have absolutely no regrets since.
"I became the mental health lead for the force almost four years ago and I suppose it was fate really. I had been the neighbourhood inspector in Morpeth where we did a lot of work with the two local hospitals to support those with mental health issues.
"It was something that opened my eyes to the importance and the impact which mental health can have on all areas of life.
"It wasn't long after that I had a personal experience of mental health crisis when my son became unwell through stress - losing his ability to walk and talk - and it had a big impact on us all. So this has been a huge driving force for me personally.
"Mental health issues can affect anyone at any time, including police officers and staff, so I want to make sure we can all have open and honest conversations about the subject. With support from the Royal Family, celebrities and those in the services, it has certainly shone a light on this crucial area but we still need to do more to keep people talking about it.
"I don't see this as a goodbye from Northumbria as I want to very much still continue working with the force to promote mental health awareness but I want to share some of the good practice we have developed here in the north east across the rest of the country.
"My predecessor at the College of Policing has done a brilliant job and I have some big shoes to follow but I look forward to the challenge and hope I can bring something new to the table to help improve mental health services, partnership work and efficiencies as well as keeping everyone talking about mental health."
This is the most recent instalment of Northumbria Police's #ProudOfOurPeople campaign that looks to shine the light on officers and staff across the Force.
For more details of the campaign, visit www.northumbria.police.uk or search the hashtag #ProudOfOurPeople on social media
Anyone interested in a career with us, search Northumbria Police Careers online.