I have changed my career and moved hundreds of miles to become a police officer with Bedfordshire Police, but the gamble has paid off.
I have been working in children’s nurseries previously for nine years, after I started as an apprentice at the age of 17 and worked my way up to become nursery co-manager. Then, after reaching where I wanted to and gathering a wide range of life experiences, the time was right to apply for the police and kick-start my new career. I’d thought about applying for a number of years, as the police has always been an attractive career option for me, as I consider my working style hands on and practical, with a caring aspect.
I am not local to the area, I moved from the north of England three days before I began my initial training, which was a major life-change. I knew a little about Bedfordshire, but what attracted me to the force was that it is a part of the tri-force unit, with a variety of roles available and big differences between areas within the county. With the mixture of rural and urban living, the policing demand spans a huge range of issues and covers such diverse cultures.
The 16-week training offers a helpful base of knowledge, from which you can only grow from. It is like no other training an employer can offer. It puts you with a class of completely different people and brings you together to think in a like-minded way. We all entered the policing world for different reasons or with different paths we hope to take, but the training sets a foundation for your learning and prepares you for the sheer amount of information.
The first few weeks of being on the job have been so exhilarating. It may sound cliché, but no two days are the same with the huge range of people you interact with and the variety of calls that require police support. The one thing I have found particularly comforting is the team that is around me. The job requires you to work alongside people you don’t know but will rely so heavily on. The team have been so welcoming and as soon as you need their support they are there offering a helping hand or comforting words of advice.
There is still so much to learn and sometimes it’s a tough realisation how much there is, but that’s why you have your tutor and a team around you, no one can expect you to walk in and know everything. It’s a huge journey and you have to be prepared to ride the good with the bad.
The best thing about the job so far is that you just never know what your shift could bring. It’s so exciting turning out for a job and seeing it unravel, as well as seeing how you react to the various calls is interesting. Some will feel emotional at times and others will pump you full of adrenaline. But the feeling of making a difference and supporting a victim or witness and bringing in a result is such a satisfying feeling, and having a tutor to share this with is just amazing. It’s a job like no-other.
PC Laura Holland graduated last month. Our applications window closes in the next few days, if you’re interested in applying to start your journey as a police officer visit our website for further information.