“The first week of academy training was very intense and I initially worried that I wasn’t excelling enough in the high-pressure environment. However, the fast pace of the workload allowed me to stop overthinking and just focus on the tasks at hand. I soon discovered that everyone was struggling with something and that no one is perfect, and this actually helped me to focus on my own performance. I found that I have been very motivated to keep improving myself and reach the new goals set throughout the week
“We have been through a range of training sessions including learning how to use police radios, investigative interviewing, officer safety training, first aid training, wellbeing and resilience, anti-racism training, giving evidence in court and preparing for our National Investigators’ Exam. Our assessments were on stop and search, arresting and presenting a suspect to custody, and taking witness statements.
“Learning how to arrest and present to custody was a unique experience which changed my understanding in many ways, as before the academy I’d only seen fictional portrayals on TV. It is a lot more dynamic and far less mechanical and detached than they show on TV. The same applied to our stop and search session, where I practiced understanding individuals and learning how to put people at ease in an uncomfortable situation.
“We practiced these procedures as role-plays, which is not a method of learning I had used before. It was awkward at first but my peers really supported me through the process and offered very useful advice and feedback.
“I particularly enjoyed our session on police radios, as I was curious and excited to use new equipment and learn how the communication lines between police officers and the control rooms work. Officer safety training and first aid training were also really interesting; learning how you can save a person’s life is daunting but so rewarding.
“I already feel much more confident than I was on day one. My voice is more decisive and my words flow better now. I have been working very hard on my policing presence, learning how to present myself professionally and hold myself to the highest standards expected of a police officer. This is one of the most important elements to consider when working within a policing environment because it defines how you are perceived not only by your colleagues but by the public too, which helps you build trust in your communities.
“My knowledge and skills have improved so much in just a few weeks. There is a large workload and a lot to remember but if I tackle it day by day, I feel like I can achieve a lot and really push myself to be the best I can be.”