Police Now academy: Juliet Taylor, Cheshire Constabulary
National Graduate Leadership Programme 2022
Juliet Taylor launched her career as a neighbourhood police officer on Monday 12th September, when she was attested at Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme academy.
Juliet, originally from Lancashire, was selected out of thousands of applicants and is joining Cheshire Constabulary via the programme. She tells us about her decision to change from pastry chef to police officer, as she was determined to drive change in society and support those who need her the most. With a keen eye for detail, Juliet is currently developing her problem-solving and leadership skills at Police Now’s academy so that she can proactively tackle crime and build public confidence in policing as a neighbourhood police officer.
The National Graduate Leadership Programme begins with a seven-week training academy before officers are deployed into their respective police forces across the country for the remainder of the two-year programme. Participants also work towards their Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University.
Read more about Juliet’s academy experience below.
“Last week I started my training at Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme academy. I have been here for one week and have six more weeks to go, before I will be joining Cheshire Constabulary for the remainder of the programme.
“I first thought about joining the police when I was a teenager, when my sister and I witnessed someone crash into our parked car outside the house. A police officer came to our address to take a witness statement, and my dad couldn’t remember a thing! I am naturally a very observant person and I remembered it all, down to what the driver had been wearing, so I provided the police with the information they needed to catch the offender. It turned out he was an uninsured driver, and the sense of accomplishment I felt at providing evidence and helping to apprehend a dangerous driver made me want to be a part of the police service myself.
“However, when I finished school I decided that I would like to study at university. I really liked Geography and the idea of doing practical field work, so I applied for Geology and Physical Geography at the University of Liverpool and graduated in 2019.
“I also really love cooking, and I especially did a lot of it during the COVID lockdowns (I even started my own Instagram food account). So, when a Michelin Star chef reopened their restaurant near where I lived in Lancashire, I decided to apply to work there. I was offered a position and went on to train at Moor Hall – voted best restaurant in the UK two years running – and at another Michelin Star restaurant after that. I became a pastry chef at the restaurant, but I hadn’t forgotten about my initial ambitions to join the police service. Although I love cooking, it wasn’t really what I wanted to do with my life.
“I went out to dinner with a friend and her fiancé, who is a police officer in Manchester, and we got to talking. It really reignited that spark in me and reminded me why I had wanted to join the service to begin with – so I could make a real difference in society. By pure coincidence, that same day I saw an advert for Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme. I thought ‘what do I have to lose by putting an application in?’ – and the rest is history.
“The first week of Police Now’s academy has been intense, with a lot to take in, but my ‘Syndicate Lead’ (Police Now trainer) has been very welcoming and professional. The levels of professionalism throughout academy have been very high, with clear expectations set. We have covered a lot of ground this week, learning about a number of topics such as procedural justice, domestic abuse, and diversity and inclusion. I have enjoyed the practical classes, like how to make an arrest and use a police radio, but my favourite so far has been the statement taking exercise.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know my future colleagues at academy so far; we’re all in the same boat and I’m glad to have people to share this journey with. I am relocating to Cheshire for the new role, so it’ll be nice to already know some people as I make my new start and as I get to know the community I will be supporting. It feels like it’s been a long road getting here, but the hard work is only just beginning.”
“Over the last two weeks I’ve completed my Officer Safety Training and Emergency Life Support training, alongside the other officers who will be joining Cheshire Constabulary. This training was hugely eye-opening for me, I learnt a lot of new skills and I can see how important these will be when supporting members of the public and keeping communities safe.
“During the Officer Safety Training (OST) we practiced handcuffing techniques and learnt a number of self-defence moves, but the main focus was on how to de-escalate situations. This meant focussing a lot on our policing presence and how to communicate clearly and calmly in tense situations. We discussed the importance of body stance, for example, which can make a difference when engaging with members of the public and policing safely. I also celebrated my 25th birthday during OST – which was certainly a unique way to mark the occasion!
“The Emergency Life Support training was another aspect of the academy which was completely new to me, but I was soon able to pick up the key skills needed for responding to a first aid emergency. Many of my new colleagues were in the same boat as me, so throughout the training we would give each other a helping hand wherever possible. A lot of us will use these new skills to save lives.
“Despite finding the training a challenge, I’ve really enjoyed it! There’s a lot of new information to take in and skills to learn but I’m confident that I’ll improve these techniques as I continue to practice them.
“The last few weeks have undoubtedly been intense, but I’m looking forward to starting the next stage of the academy and continuing to develop and build on the knowledge and experience I’ve already gained.”
“I have had a very exciting few days, as I’ve just completed my first ever shifts on the policing frontline. As part of Police Now’s academy training, I spent three days on Cheshire Constabulary’s Response unit, working alongside experienced colleagues to respond to 999 calls.
“I was nervous going into field training but everyone at Warrington station was so welcoming and fully supported me as I put my academy training into practice. We responded to a wide variety of cases over the course of my field training shifts and, in just that short amount of time, I could really feel my communication and policing skills improving.
“On Response, you never fully know what to expect until you arrive on the scene. We responded to a number of incidents during my field training including a road traffic collision, a high-risk missing person case, a hate crime and public order offence, and a domestic violence incident.
“The road traffic collision was relatively minor but I spoke with one of the drivers and assisted in moving the vehicle to the side of the road. The hate crime report was of a homophobic incident at a hospital premises, which caused alarm and distress to other patients. I supported my colleagues in managing the situation and engaging with the patients to make sure they felt supported and heard.
“When we arrived at the domestic violence scene, we worked together to gather evidence and ensure the victim was supported. I was responsible for taking a suspect statement and presenting a suspect to custody. This was my first time witnessing a real-time arrest and being in the custody suite; it was great to be able to apply my academy training and see this all pan out in a real-life scenario. I also assisted in planning and conducting the suspect interview alongside my colleague at the station. To know I played a part in protecting a victim of domestic abuse on my first ever shift has really opened my eyes to the impact I can make as a police officer, and just how challenging but rewarding this job is going to be.
“Field training has been my favourite part of Police Now’s academy so far and has helped me better understand the realities of operational policing in 2022. I feel like my confidence and policing skills have already increased massively. I’m really looking forward to the final leg of academy and to soon be joining Cheshire Constabulary permanently, where I can continue to safeguard members of the public and make a real impact to people’s lives.”
“The academy has come to an end, and I feel incredibly proud of how much I’ve already developed as a police officer. The last seven weeks have definitely had their challenging moments and at times I’ve doubted myself, but I’ve also learned so much and have grown in confidence.
“To end the academy, a number of senior officers shared their knowledge and experience with us. We heard from Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave QPM from the Metropolitan Police Service; Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine of West Midlands Police; former Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Rose, who is now with the Cambridge Centre for Evidence Based Policing; and Richard McCann, motivational speaker and founder of the iCan Academy. They offered powerful insight and encouraged us to always lead with confidence, integrity and empathy as we head to our forces and communities. We also had a great input from Garry Shewan QPM from Liverpool John Moores University, Police Now’s academic partner who we will work with to achieve our Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I am preparing for it.
“Deciding to join the police and leave behind a career as a chef was a huge step for me – but it’s one I couldn’t be happier with. The academy has only confirmed for me my choice to join policing and I’m really looking forward to continue putting my training into practice with Cheshire Constabulary and making a difference in society as a neighbourhood police officer. I’m sure there will be fresh challenges along the way – those I certainly wouldn’t have had to face in the kitchen – but I know I have the grit and determination to get through it.
“I have enjoyed academy but now it’s time to go to work in my community. I feel ready and equipped to face each challenge head on, and I know my tutor is going to push me to be the best I can be, helping to develop me into a leader.”