PC Dennis Bye harks back to his Heartbeat days

LYME Regis policeman Dennis Bye, who has patrolled his last beat after a 33 year career, describes his early years in the force as like Heartbeat".

LYME Regis policeman Dennis Bye, who has patrolled his last beat after a 33 year career, describes his early years in the force as "like Heartbeat". The 53-year-old, who has always worked along the Dorset coast, served Lyme for 20 years.The married father of five has worked through riots in Toxteth and Bristol, and the miners' strike of the 1980s.PC Bye said, when he started, it was like Heartbeat - with the old Panda cars and officers dressed in capes. And he saw the dawn of computers, which helped make an officer's life easier.He said: "The changes I have seen are beyond belief. It was pre-computers and we used to use teleprinters."PC Bye is also a musician at heart and plays with the Three Counties Swing Band. Before joining the force he tried his hand at anything from game-keeping to labouring work.But, as a motorbike enthusiast, he joined the police to fight crime - and ride bikes.He said: "I had a schoolboy thing about riding motorbikes and was happy when I got to ride them. I joined for the adrenalin, excitement and to be of public service."PC Bye says he has had good and bad experiences in his career - from seeing justice being served, to traumatic events when it was too late to help. "There were many highs and lows," he said. "It has been satisfying to catch someone and be involved in a job that came to a good conclusion. You get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from that."Or, when you find a missing child and the relief of the parents when they are reunited. That's heart-warming."But, he added, on other occasions he had been saddened by what he saw, such as when he attended a suicide and learned the victim had left behind young children. At other times he has been nervous, such as covering riots.He said: "You always believe there is strength in numbers and you put your trust in your colleagues. But, I suppose, there are times when it's quite overwhelming."He said he had no regrets about joining the force. "It's not just a career it's a way of life," he said. "But it's been good to me."You never know what's going to happen during the day. I think I stayed past my 30 years of service because I have been in the community for so long. Lyme is a nice place to live and work."PC Bye plans to take a few months off as holiday to spend time with his family. He will then start a driving job.He said: "I have some catching up to do at home [DIY jobs] and I want to spend some time with my wife and children."Colleague PC Richard Winward said PC Bye would be missed at the station. He said: ""Everyone in Lyme knows Dennis for his thorough police work and because he is a talented musician.