Police Now ‘Syndicate Leads’ prepare to train the next generation of neighbourhood police officers
Thursday 1 September 2022
Police Now are preparing to welcome the next intake of officers on the National Graduate Leadership Programme, who will officially begin their training this September.
The programme begins with a seven-week residential academy, where the new participants will be trained by a team of experienced ‘Syndicate Leads’ – operational officers seconded from Police Now’s partner forces.
Syndicate Leads play a key role in the delivery of Police Now’s mission and are crucial to the development and training of Police Now’s participants. Through teaching, leading, and mentoring the new officers, they will guide the latest cohort through their first steps to becoming neighbourhood police officers.
Hear from some of this year’s Syndicate Leads below, including a number of Police Now alumni and Frontline Leadership Programme participants who have returned to Police Now to impart their knowledge and skills to the new recruits.
Temporary Police Sergeant Benjamin Oddie
Essex Police, National Graduate Leadership Programme
“I started my policing career in 2015 as a Special Constable in Lancashire Constabulary, having studied Computer Science at Loughborough University. During the following few years, I worked on Immediate Response, Roads Policing Unit, and Neighbourhood Policing Teams and received a commendation for ‘bravery and swift actions’ following a knife attack, for arresting two violent males and performing first aid on the victim’s multiple stab wounds.
“In 2018 I joined Essex Police via Police Now and have recently begun a new role on the Stolen Vehicle Unit, targeting organised vehicle crime and working to recover stolen vehicles and reduce vehicle theft. I’m looking forward to getting started as a Syndicate Lead at this year’s academy, to continue my Police Now policing journey and to support new recruits as they start theirs!”
Police Sergeant Ellie Reeve
“I’ve worked on the policing frontline for 16 years, and at sergeant rank for the last 16 months. When I joined Hertfordshire Constabulary, I received a great introduction to policing and was supported at Training School by a number of inspirational leaders, whose teaching remains with me to this day.
“I wanted to become a Syndicate Lead so that I can be a part of making a positive change, offering an inspiring first contact with Hertfordshire Constabulary and affording new recruits the same great start I received. I aspire to be a role model that in ten years these recruits still remember and to help instil within them the confidence and positive discipline that the service requires.”
Temporary Police Sergeant Ian Croxford
The Metropolitan Police Service
“Born in Birmingham, I moved to London over eight years ago to join the Met and have loved every minute of it. For the first four and a half years, I worked on a busy Emergency Response Team covering Lewisham. In this time, I earned myself two commendations: one for being a first responder to the 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack and secondly when having to quickly grab my riot gear to respond to a rave that spiralled out of control!
“Since then, I have specialised in tackling moped crime and was a founding member of Operation Venice, a unit set up to deal with the 32,000 moped offences London was initially suffering with, which have reduced to just 1,000 over the last 12 months.
“Now feels like the right time to advance my career and start both sharing knowledge and leading teams. I enjoy working around individuals with positive can-do attitudes, teaching people new skills and seeing them succeed. Policing isn’t an easy job – and so it’s vital we equip officers for the challenges they’ll inevitably face – but it’s incredibly rewarding and unlike anything else out there!”
Temporary Police Sergeant Innayah Aziz
West Midlands Police, National Graduate Leadership Programme alumna
“Policing was never a career I considered growing up; I was brought up in a deprived area of Birmingham, my mum was a single parent, and financially we often struggled. However, I worked hard throughout my childhood into adulthood and went to university where I studied Psychology.
“In between my studies I volunteered for the NHS supporting vulnerable adults suffering with mental health problems and it was there that I came to realise that I love caring for people. So, when I came across Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme whilst assessing my options as a graduate, it seemed like a perfect fit. Although I was hesitant to apply at first – imposter syndrome creeping in – I gave it a shot anyway, and nearly two and a half years later here I am!
“I absolutely loved my time at the academy, and I am now a mentor, supporting many trainee officers as they join my neighbourhood policing team. As a Syndicate Lead, I am keen to continue supporting, inspiring, and leading this next generation of officers, and helping them to thrive in the police.”
Temporary Police Sergeant Samuel Summers
Thames Valley Police, Frontline Leadership Programme participant
“After achieving a first-class degree in history, I served in the Army Reserve for just under four years, holding the rank of lance corporal. Aside from my normal duties, I completed several general instructing and coaching courses and was given responsibility to supervise eight soldiers and deliver training.
“I decided to leave the Army Reserve and moved to rural Japan where I worked as an Assistant Language Teacher for one year, teaching 15–18-year-olds in three different public high schools. Upon returning to the UK, I worked as a glazier in the construction industry for one year, before joining the police.
“I joined Thames Valley Police and was initially posted into a uniformed response role in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, working as a response driver and level two public order officer. I then became a detective, initially in priority crime (such as burglaries and robberies), and now in the Criminal Investigation Department, where I investigate serious and complex crime (including attempted murder, rape, unexpected deaths). I am PIP2 accredited and am qualified to carry out interviews for the most serious cases.
“I want to be a Syndicate Lead as I have real passion for delivering training and am really excited to be working with enthusiastic student officers who have a real desire to learn. I would like to use this opportunity, alongside my involvement in Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme, to develop myself and hopefully achieve promotion in the future.”