I joined the Specials because I’d always wanted to join the police service and I thought I’d give it a go. I was initially only going to do it for a year, and ended up staying and making it into my 25th year.
When I joined the Specials, we were just coming out of the ‘hobby bobby’ era, so we were just breaking away from fetes and carnivals. I was part of the first generation of new Specials who started to push barriers; I didn’t want to be known as a hobby bobby – I wanted to do what police officers did.
I wanted to be involved with the police from a young age – my uncle was a police driver in Northumbria and often when we visited he’d show us the police cars which I found really exciting.
As I went through school I got involved with sports coaching, and on the recommendation of one of my teachers I moved into teaching. I qualified in 1996 and started work straight away. I began my career, and gradually moved my way up to a point where starting a new career would have been difficult.
I’ve always had an interest in policing. Even when doing my apprenticeship to get me started in my career, I always wanted to do something in policing.
I’m a vehicle engineer, so I work on anything from cars to large HGVs. I love my day job so by being a Special I get the best of both worlds; I get to do something I enjoy doing, but also I get involved with policing in the hours that fit in best around my job and family.
When I first joined the Specials I started out in Dunstable, and then when I became independent I moved to Leighton Buzzard, and I’m now currently based in Biggleswade. I’ve been involved in a lot of community-focused initiatives including various school events, but I’ve done a bit of everything so it’s been nice and varied and also challenging at times.