A freelance photographer said he has never seen a policing team as proactive as one led by chief inspector Steve Curry.
Chief inspector Curry, the current district commander for Hastings and Rother, announced yesterday he would be retiring from Sussex Police after 25 years of service.
Eddie Mitchell, a freelance photographer based in Sussex, said he was just starting out in the profession when he worked closely with chief inspector Curry on drug raids across the city.
He said: “It was around the time when gangs were bringing heroin and firearms into the city. Steve’s team was so proactive. They were smashing down doors about two or three times a week and he was giving drug dealers hell.
“I have never seen another team like his since that era of the late 1990s early 2000s.
“I was a bit of a novice back then and working with his team was amazing. They were fantastically professional and they were just the same in Hastings. He was doing a different role there but it never changed him.
“He has always been nicking the bad ones and doing what he can to make society better. That is his highest accolade.
“I wish him well for the future but I know he is going to miss it all when he moves on.”
Looking back on his 25 years with Sussex Police, chief inspector Curry admitted it will feel strange leaving.
He added: “I had never worked in Hastings before I took on the role. I feel really privileged to have led the team there and help make some achievements.
“A lot of hard work has gone on in the front lines despite being presented with difficulties. They have done a fantastic job keeping the community safe.
“Handing back the warrant card will be a strange feeling. I will miss the people and the teams I have worked with massively. I will miss that camaraderie, that being up for it. We are it.
“It is important that we continue to strive to deliver the best service that we can to the communities that need us.”