A police officer who moved out of home at the start of lockdown to protect his son is back with his family after an emotional reunion.
“Unsung hero” William Till left his home at the start of April because son Alfie, seven, was shielding following surgery to remove growths from his brain.
His dad, a police community support officer with West Midlands Police (WMP), was worried that his work would increase the chances of bringing coronavirus home and put his son — whose growths were caused by a bacterial infection called mastoiditis — at risk.
The 42-year-old moved into a flat nearby and stuck to socially-distanced visits throughout April, May and June.
But after guidelines around shielding changed, he moved back into his home in Stourbridge, West Midlands, last week where he was reunited with his family.
“It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” said the PSCO, whose patch is in Wolverhampton city centre.
“I popped over for regular chats through the patio door but of course it all had to be socially distanced with no physical contact.
“Watching my children cry when I had to say goodbye was heartbreaking, not being able to hold them, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
“I wanted to keep working as part of the team. It was for times like these where communities need our support that I joined the police and accepted I had to sacrifice contact with my wife and children.”
Despite spending so long away from his family, Till was back at work after a few days.
“It’s amazing to be back home,” he added. “I had a few days off for lots of cuddles and family time but was back on the beat on Thursday.”
West Midlands Police said the PCSO’s work during lockdown had included: “educating people about the pandemic and encouraging them to adhere to the distancing rules”.
Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant Sean Corrigan said: “What Will has done over the last 15 weeks is testament to his community spirit and dedication to policing and serving the public of Wolverhampton.
“He paid for a room in a nearby house and restricted contact with his family through a patio door in order to continue working and ensuring he didn’t pose a virus risk to his wife and children.
“That’s an incredible sacrifice. He truly is an unsung hero of West Midlands Police.”
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