THE family of a police officer who died suddenly three months before he was due to retire have paid tribute to him.
Sergeant Kevan Sitch had served with Hampshire Constabulary for 30 years, and was most recently based at Fareham police station.
The 52-year-old was taken ill with heart problems last Thursday and died in Southampton General Hospital three days later.
His widow Alison Sitch, of Serpentine Road, in Fareham, said: ‘Nobody can believe it, it’s been such a shock.
‘He was just a fantastic guy. He was renowned for his great sense of humour, but he was also very modest and level-headed.
‘He was a bit of a go-to guy – the sort of person you could go to if you had a problem. I’m still finding out how well-liked and respected he was – we’re still getting lots of cards every day.’
The couple were married for 27 years after being introduced on a blind date and had three children, Dan, 24, Catherine, 23, and Abbie, 17.
Sgt Sitch started his police career on the beat in Portsea, before working at Southsea, Park Gate and Bishop’s Waltham. For the past four years he was an operational planning team sergeant, based at Fareham, responsible for planning high-profile policing operations.
His colleague Inspector Mark Taylor added: ‘I’ve known him since I started my career, and he’s always been a very popular, well-respected and dedicated officer. He will genuinely be missed. He really was admired by everyone who knew him.’
His funeral takes place at Portchester Crematorium tomorrow at midday.