We recently hosted our fourth Spring Induction for the next generation of Police Now officers who will begin their training later this year. Julie Onwukegu, Head of Summer Academy, tells us about the day and what she’s most looking forward to over the summer.
Just over a week ago, at our Spring Induction, we welcomed and congratulated the successful applicants to this year’s Police Now programme. It was an exciting day as those that have made it to this point have gone through a rigorous, highly competitive assessment process with over 5,000 graduates applying this year. Reaching this stage is a huge achievement!
Our main aim for the day was to equip the attendees with all they needed to be as prepared as possible for the Summer Academy starting in three months. The Summer Academy is our six-week training programme that all Police Now participants go through before being placed in a community as a neighbourhood police officer for two years. At the end of the programme we support participants as they either stay in their role, specialise in another area of policing or move to a role outside of policing.
Throughout the day former and current Police Now officers, along with representatives from forces around the country and the Police Now team, spoke to the attendees about their hopes and fears for the programme, what they needed to do before the Summer Academy and what they can expect to get out of the two-year programme and life in the job.
In the afternoon we held breakout sessions giving participants the opportunity to dive into various areas of Police Now. This included:
- A ‘meet your force’ fair where participants could speak with force representatives to find out more about their force and the local communities they will be policing later this year;
- A Summer Academy taster lesson where attendees learnt about the theory behind the use of stop and search; and
- A presentation from the Police Now Leadership Development team detailing the support and development Police Now participants will receive over the two years.
We were also grateful to be joined by Northumbria Police Chief Constable, Winton Keenen, who acknowledged the impact that these future neighbourhood police officers will be able to make to their community tackling inequality and deprivation. He opened by acknowledging “the energy in the room” which gave him “great confidence in the future of policing”.
The day after the Spring Induction participants were given access to a bespoke pre-learn course that must be completed online before the start of the Summer Academy. The pre-learn content is created by the Summer Academy Team and frontline police officers and is hosted on a virtual learning multimedia platform; it covers all elements of legislation that participants need to know – and will be examined on at the start of the Academy – before starting their practical training.
The day was an enormous success and there were many comments from attendees about how they were excited about joining and felt inspired to make a difference in society. I’m extremely excited for this year’s Summer Academy and look forward to getting to know our future officers better.