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Stephen Talbot, 62, of Main Street, Little Downham, who was previously based at Cambridgeshire Police headquarters, was sentenced to 15 months in prison at Cambridge Crown Court today.
Talbot had earlier pleaded guilty to 14 counts of making images, four of possessing images and one of perverting the course of justice.
Detective Superintendent Gary Ridgway, head of the force's public protection department, said: "The length of the sentence reflects the severity of Talbot's offences.
We have no evidence to suggest that he personally abused children but the making and possessing of images of this kind fuels child sexual abuse.
Some of the images were at the highest level and he exacerbated his crimes by deliberately destroying evidence, meaning we cannot know the true extent of his offending.
Safeguarding the most vulnerable in society is at the very heart of policing in Cambridgeshire and we are committed to bringing those who target them to justice."
Talbot resigned from his role at the force in October and was arrested the same day when the allegations came to light.