Unlike many of my colleagues around the country, I didn’t grow up always wanting to be a police officer. Policing was just a career option that crossed my radar and looked appealing. Good pay and conditions, promotion opportunities and a huge range of specialisms to diversify into all under one roof. I explored the options and submitted my application form.
On a Monday morning just over 25yrs ago I pulled my car into the Sedgley Park training school at Manchester to begin a job that has been brilliant and bloody awful.
It’s a job where I have cried laughing and a job where I have lost friends and just cried. A job that has occasionally made me hard and insensitive, yet, at other times, filled me with compassion and empathy and pushed me to go that extra mile.
I’ve seen the best that society has to offer and the worst we humans can do to one another.
There really is no job anything like it. It’s been a roller coaster of exhilaration, excitement and fun tempered by frustration, hurt, mundanity and outright “scared to death” fear. Much like every other persons job, there are good days and bad days. There are days when I love the job and other times when I’d gladly walk out of the door and never come back.
So why am I still here? Service? Duty? A calling? The pay, pension and job security? If I’m truly honest it’s a combination of all these factors and many more. Ironically, those of us working in the police service call it ‘the job’. Yet policing is so much more than just a job. It’s a vocation. I don’t really know where it came from but the seeds of my early career grew into patience, wisdom (I hope) and a sense of duty. An honestly held belief that in between the tears, pain, blood, sweat and tears I was making a positive life difference to the person that needed it most at that time. Protecting and offering shelter and support to those people who need it most. Sometimes this has meant stepping well out of our area of responsibility to do something not because we should but because we care. There is no greater feeling of job satisfaction I know. Winning a contract or hitting a sales target just doesn’t come close.
Over the years I’ve worked with some people who have let the side down and made my job all the more difficult. I’ve also worked with people with whom I have put my life in their hands and they in mine. There is an amazing strength in a family and the police service is just that. There is also my own family. A wife and children who support and love me. Without them the whole thing would simply crumble.
I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of my family, I’m proud of my colleagues and for 25yrs I have been #ProudToProtect