What I’ve learnt through my first six months is that policing is a job you simply have to learn through doing. Be it enacting s1 searches, reasoning with drunken masses or juggling the demands of a diverse community, most of policing can never be wholly prepared for in a classroom environment; it takes real-life practice and of course, real-life mistakes, to develop into a confident officer.
“gain valuable intel”
My growing confidence has given me the time to analyse my performance and begin to notice things that could be done better, and where I could bring the innovation of Police Now’s ethos to make a difference to the policing outcome. This is particularly noticeable being on a Neighbourhood Team, for example I have been able to dedicate time to nurturing relationships with the at-risk youths in my area. In turn, I can gain valuable intel, discourage them from crime and monitor their vulnerabilities.
I have also recently had a chance to unpack my thoughts and ideas in my first Personal Development Plan (PDP) meeting with my LDO, Rosie. We discussed my progress, the hurdles that were likely to come, and my thoughts about policing and specifically my role. I realised how much information I was assimilating, and how valuable it was to explore these ideas in a neutral, productive environment.
“a reminder to self-reflect”
I also found this support amongst my Police Now colleagues when I have joined them at Police Now skills sessions. One course was ‘Communication and Policing’ which gave me vital assistance in preparing for my first Police Now Impact Event presentation. Police Now also organised an Action Learning Set designed for Herts Police Now students to get together and share any issues we were facing. Talking with Police Now colleagues, I was re-enthused by their success stories, re-inspired by their novel ideas and reassured by their mistakes. These sessions have provided a structure to my development as they serve as a reminder to self-reflect. They have also given me the time and space to check-in again with the Police Now ethos and remind myself of my wider goals for my community, so I return to my neighbourhood a more driven and inspired officer.
As for my next 18 months, I am starting to look ahead to what could be beyond Police Now, and I am looking forward to my secondment as an opportunity to explore different aspects of policing, both within the constabulary and outside with private companies.