This month we are marking the contribution of our Special Constables. Tristan Webb, a former Cadet and future Special Constable tells us about his time with the force and how, even though he has left the Cadets, he hopes to continue to make a difference in his community…
I’ve always wanted to join the police since I was knee high. The dream had always stayed with me and joining the Bedfordshire’s Police Cadets brought me one step closer.
My mum actually told me the Cadets and I signed up as soon as I could at 16, and it was a fantastic decision.
The Cadets meet every week to learn about the police, and often we would get talks from specific departments from across the force, which gave a valuable insight into all the different things that the police do. We also learned some of the skills needed in front line policing, including about legislation, how to interview someone, and what to do on arrival at a crime scene.
The Cadets also operate a rank system, and I worked my way up the rank of Drill Sergeant. This allowed me to develop my leadership skills by leading Cadets at events such as the Remembrance Day Parade, or instructing them for their Passing Out Parade.
After two years and some fantastic opportunities I have left the Cadets, although I have stayed on as a Cadet Support Volunteer. I enjoyed every minute and have gained invaluable experience, and by volunteering I will be able to support our current Cadets and be on hand to offer advice or pass on my knowledge.
My years as a Cadet reinforced my childhood dream, and helped me take my next steps to joining the police. During the summer I undertook two weeks of initial training to become a Special Constable which I thoroughly enjoyed. There will be a further two years of training to come before I will be an independent Special, and although I haven’t been out much yet, I can’t wait for what’s to come.
Special Constables work alongside full-time officers and PCSO’s and help patrol the county’s rural and urban communities, providing a really important service to the public. I hope to experience many things during my time with the Specials and will aim for milestones such as becoming an independent Special Constable or specialising in a particular unit.
Making a positive difference in people’s lives is important for me and through being a Special I can aim to do that; from talking with someone to protecting the public if there is an incident. It gives me a huge amount of satisfaction knowing that I have helped someone, and anyone else who makes a positive difference with others will have the same feeling.
If you’re aged 16-18 and want to make a difference in your community, why not join Bedfordshire’s Police Cadets? Recruitment opens on 9 January. For more information, visit the Cadet pages on our website.
To find out more about joining the Special Constabulary, come along to one of our information evenings.