Two of our officers have been honoured in this year’s Pride of Birmingham Awards.
Expert taser trainer PC Skye Morden and PC Emad Choudhury − who works with our Project Guardian team tackling youth violence − both won accolades having been shortlisted from thousands of entries.
The annual Birmingham Live Pride of Birmingham Awards, in association with TSB, sees members of the public nominate their “true heroes of the city".
Skye has been a West Midlands Police officer for 20 years.
Most of her distinguished career has been on the policing front line. She’s faced down rioters, tackled armed burglars, and rescued people in times of crisis. She was stabbed while protecting members of the public.
But the 44-year-old - a police Taser Subject Matter Expert and Tactical Trainer - considers her bravest act was coming out as a transgender woman in early 2018.
She’s now true to herself at work and last November went public with her story in support of Transgender Remembrance Day.
Skye has been presented with a Special Recognition Award.
She said: “Walking into a training centre as a transgender woman to 30 police officers I’ve never met before was pretty terrifying. But it was the right thing to do…I couldn’t live a lie any more. And every day it gets a little bit easier.
“I’ve no doubt we all know someone who’s struggling with their gender identity. I wanted to show them it’s alright, to encourage them to talk about it and get support.
“The love I’ve had since going public has been incredible. I’ve had countless messages of support and I hope I’ve been able to help others on their own journey.
“It was a genuine shock to receive the award. It’s lovely and I’m truly touched."
PC Emad Choudhury has received the Pride of Birmingham Emergency Services Award.
Emad is an Imam and became a police officer in the West Midlands to play an influential role in reaching out to young people to divert them away from gang culture and crime.
The 30-year-old worked with the Bahu Trust mosque in Balsall Heath for five years before joining us as a Student Officer in 2018.
He was assigned to our Project Guardian team − a specialist unit tasked with tackling knife crime and youth violence − and now works with our Force CID.
And Emad is using his connections and influence at the Bahu Trust - where he still regularly delivers Friday prayers - to educate young people on the devastating impact of knife crime and steer them away from gangs.
He said: “I’m really passionate about my work: too many children, including some from my home in Sparkbrook, are being killed and lives ruined through knife crime.
“I know these communities, I live here and I know how it works. I’m trying to use my access to people here to prevent more lost lives and heartache.
“There’s lots of great work and dedicated officers working as part of Project Guardian. I’m just doing my job but it’s very humbling to be recognised with this award."