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Retired sergeant's request to receive medal turned down by Ombudsman

Sergeant found to be ineligible for Long and Efficient Service Medal

A retired police sergeant who felt his 25 years of service merited a medal turned to the Parliamentary Ombudsman in an attempt to get the recognition he felt he deserved. 

The last-ditch attempt however fell flat, with Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud finding that the aggrieved officer's disciplinary record meant he was not even eligible to qualify for a Long and Efficient Service Medal, which is part of awards handed out under the Ġieħ ir-Republika Act. 

The unusual request was among a series of complaints published in a report of the various complaints filed with the Ombudsman in 2017. 

Having joined the police force in 1970, the officer continued to work as a police officer until he retired in 1996. Throughout those 26 years, he faced four disciplinary proceedings, with three of them dating back to the 1970s and "petty in nature," the Ombudsman found. 

READ: Reinstated police officer to face criminal charges

However, the last of those disciplinary proceedings came less than two years before the complainant had handed in his badge and called it a day - breaching eligibility criteria for the medal which were established in 2004, and which stated that at least two years had to pass from an officer's last disciplinary offence for them to be eligible. 

The Ombudsman informed the former police sergeant that he did not qualify for the award and that his complaint could not be sustained. 

Long and Efficient Service medals were first given early in the 20th century, before being dropped for several decades. They were revamped in 1995 by the late Alfred Calleja, when he was police commissioner. 

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