I remember the first day I turned up at Police Headquarters in a brand new suit and entered what we commonly referred to as the dream factory.
I had always wanted to join the police, I wanted to catch burglars and make people feel safe.
And I can honestly say it’s a decision that I’ve never regretted – I look forward to going to work every single day.
Getting paid to attend football matches might seem like a dream job to many. PC Stephen Mason is Bedfordshire Police’s dedicated Football Officer.
“I initially got involved in the policing side of football as a spotter – a police officer who can identify known fans who are likely to cause risks, and gather intelligence for the match commander. I got involved because I love football, but also because I was interested in the policing side of the game.
“Now I work within Ops Planning as a football officer and I’m the single point of contact for Luton Town Football Club.
The alarm is set for 2am. I know as I’ve checked it at least five times. My uniform is laid out, all ready to go.
Tomorrow I’ll be the tactical firearms commander (TFC) for an armed policing operation in Bedford, carrying out warrants at two addresses.
It’s my first ever operation as a TFC, having successfully completed my classroom training a couple of weeks ago.
A TFC is the commander for devising a suitable tactical plan for an operation involving firearms officers.
I have commanded many public order operations in the past, but this feels very, very different.