“We have completed five weeks of academy training now and have jumped straight back into our learning after the long Easter weekend. So far, we have focused on developing our practical policing skills and learning the physical, theoretical and force-specific skills required to effectively deal with incidents on the streets. This has included stop and search of people and cars, premise searches, arrest and present to custody, use of police radios, understanding and using evidence, domestic abuse and missing persons, giving evidence in court, officer safety training and first aid training.
“I am really pleased that I have passed all my Officer Safety Training (OST) and first aid training, and I have passed both my first practical and written assessments. The practical assessment was stop search, arrest and present to custody, and the written assessment was taking witness statements.
“The feedback I received from my assessments was that I have excellent mannerisms, remaining calm and confident throughout the assessments and making genuine connections with the suspects. I also have areas that I need to improve on, such as being clearer with some of my communications and providing more details in my written statements.
“I am working on developing these skills across all my sessions, for example in my arrest and present to custody roleplays. I really enjoyed learning about how to arrest someone and present them to custody because it was the most exciting part of policing to me before starting academy. On my first role-play attempt, I was a bit nervous and I didn’t speak loudly enough. I suspect this was due to confidence but the more I practiced the more confident I became.
“When we learned how to do basic radio communication, I tried to keep my first attempt simple and focused on being clear. I was worried about slipping up on the more complex instructions, as I was still getting used to the radio codes and adapting to this new style of communicating. I hadn’t really considered that radio comms would be such an important aspect to learn, as I had only ever been aware of a few radio phrases beforehand. I now know it is vital that I have a broader understanding of different radio codes and protocols.
“Although the academy is intense, I am feeling good mentally, emotionally and physically. I enjoyed our OST and especially like the hands-on aspects of the training. My performance has room for improvement but I am making steady progress and I’m happy with the work I have put in so far.
“I am fully aware of the way I need to act in my role as a police officer, in order to maintain the trust and confidence from the public and fellow colleagues. This is constantly reinforced throughout our academy and in my personal life I have always strived to have a strong sense of integrity and fairness, so this has naturally transferred to my professional policing role.”