Brighton and Hove police officers have had the threat of forced retirement after 30 years’ service lifted.
Peter Jones, a member of Sussex Police Authority who hopes to run for the newly created role of police and crime commissioner, claimed the credit.
Councillor Jones, who is also the Conservative leader of East Sussex County Council, said that he had called for a report on the matter from Chief Constable Martin Richards.
Last night (Tuesday 22 May) he said: “The chief constable has accepted that the system will end in September 2012.
“At last we will end a crazy rule which was causing a huge waste of great police officer talent.
“We have all invested considerable money in training them and now they can continue to serve our communities until they are ready to retire.”
Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, the divisional commander of Brighton and Hove, was one of the officers who would have been forced to retire next year had the rule remained in place.
Chief Superintendent Bartlett, who turns 48 in August, would have been forced out by the rule – known as Regulation 19 – next March.
He said recently: “There are people who are going to be missed much more than me, particularly those of a lower rank and who are on the front line.
“It’s difficult to be critical of police forces for using this rule given the current financial situation.
“There need to be different ways that police officers can leave so we don’t lose knowledge and experience. There’s no voluntary severance option.
“There does need to be more flexibility.”
Councillor Jones was supported in his campaign by crime writer Peter James, who is also the patron of Sussex Crimestoppers.
Peter James said: “Well done – a good decision. It is also wonderful news for anyone who ever dreamed of a career in the police.
“Now we can hold on to some great officers at the peak of their experience and skills.”
The election for a police and crime commissioner is due to take place on Thursday 15 November.