Jodie Hayes, 21, recently graduated as one of our newest Special constables. Here Jodie, who is a care assistant in her day-to-day job, starts a series of blogs as she launches into her role on the frontline.
I have wanted to be in the police since I was about seven years old and studied Public Services at college when I left school at 16. Policing is something that I have always been interested in and I grew up watching The Bill with my dad.
For me, becoming a Special means being able to protect the public, prevent crime and help individuals in their time of need. I like the idea of being able to make a difference to the community I live in and also learning more about the job before potentially joining full time.
When I first began the training, I was concerned as to whether I would be able to do the job as well as regular officers or whether the public would be able to notice the difference between me and a regular police officer.
The training lasted 16 weeks and in that time I learnt about your powers, the law and how to protect yourself out on the street. I was nervous on the first day as I wasn’t sure what to expect and knew from research that there would be a lot to learn. However, the group of officers I trained with were lovely and have really helped when things got tough.
Personal safety training was the most exciting part, as you were able to use your handcuffs and equipment for the first time. The most memorable moment was the first time we encountered role players. It was the first time we were able to put our trained skills into practice and it was really nerve-wracking. The incident I went to was somebody with a mental health issue and I felt really good after it had finished and about how I had dealt with it.
Graduation was really terrifying as you have you have to be sworn in in front of a judge, as well as your family and friends. I felt an amazing sense of pride as I stood in the uniform and received my warrant card and it was really nice to do it as a team with my fellow colleagues.
I am nervous about going on the beat for the first time as I know the public will rely on me at an incident, but I’m excited at the same time. My confidence has grown a lot since I began in January and now feel ready to deal with anything out on the street.
My advice for anybody wanting to apply as a Special would be to really sit down and think about the questions on the application and get somebody else to read your examples so that you have someone else’s view. Be confident, believe in yourself and express your life experiences.
Jodie’s next blog will feature her first patrol as a Special. Look out for it here and via a post on the force Facebook page.
If you’re interested in becoming a Special visit our recruitment page HERE