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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Jon, Neighbourhood Sergeant

Jon is a Neighbourhood Sergeant supervising 30 police officers managing immediate response, crime, safeguarding and community policing. He is dyslexic and has ADHD.

Jon, Neighbourhood Sergeant at Avon and Somerset Police

Jon left school without diagnosis or qualifications. Since joining Avon and Somerset Police as a constable in 2003 he has proudly achieved a Chartered Institute of Management qualification, promotion to sergeant and is studying to be an inspector.

Diagnosed as dyslexic in his 30’s, Jon has to work hard on his communications. He uses lists and smartphone reminders and his supportive team help him keep on track.

His more recently-diagnosed ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) includes short-term working memory, so he can forget quickly and his hyperactivity makes paying attention difficult. However he is able to be honest about his challenges.

Support from peers and colleagues

“I came to policing in my late 20’s after an unfulfilling sales career. I was rejected by two other forces and told I wouldn’t manage the paperwork a police role demands.” Jon explains. “When I applied to Avon and Somerset Police I immediately felt this force does things differently. I talked to the recruitment team about where I had previously failed. The spelling test here was not dictation-driven and I was successful.”

“I am open so my colleagues accept that I might have to stand in meetings or fidget or my reports are bullet-pointed. No-one minds me being me. Reasonable adjustments can be made for anyone, but support and caring here goes much deeper – the force has been brilliant, even arranging my ADHD assessment.” Jon says.

His career suits him perfectly.  “I never know what my day will hold but I do know it will be fantastically varied, busy and make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

“I now have a diagnosis, a career I love and a fantastic team who make me feel entirely comfortable.”

Jon says “When I set off for the day I tell my family I’m going to my work family! Here I am welcomed for who I am and appreciated for the qualities and skills I bring. At last I can embrace, rather than fight, who I am.”

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