Roger, Special Chief Inspector
Learning new skills and gaining experience.
Roger found out about being a special constable 14 years ago, when he was working as a freelance architectural photographer.
“I was taking some photos of a bank in Yeovil, but I was getting some unwanted attention from some drunken people. I was glad when a police officer turned up and I was impressed how he diplomatically but firmly moved them on.”
“Special constables used to have ‘SC’ before their collar number. I asked the officer what it stood for and he told me about being a special constable. I thought being a special constable was like being a PCSO, I did not realise that they have the same powers as regular officers, but they are volunteers.”
Gain experience and volunteer
Roger describes when he first become a special constable as part of the Yeovil Division “I was made to feel like a valued team member, and the other officer’s attitudes were ‘we’ll teach you how to do this and show you the ropes’.”
Roger says, “I had never considered becoming a regular police officer as I enjoy my work as an NHS Project Manager plus regular officers can have their leave cancelled at short notice, but I can plan my holidays with confidence.”
The NHS offers their employees two days extra paid leave every year so that they can do voluntary work. Roger says, “My line manager has been supportive and flexible. For example, if I want an early finish to start a late shift at 4:00pm, he allows me to start and finish early.”
“The skills, experience and self-confidence I’ve acquired in my voluntary work as a special constable have been very beneficial to my career.”
“I’ve also found being a special constable and climbing up the ranks structure fits well with my CV and has allowed me to demonstrate my competencies to a wider audience. I currently lead the special constabulary roads policing team, this has helped me develop my skills in influencing and facilitating the progress of other members of my team.”
Helping to save lives
Being a special constable means you can make real difference. “In my twelve years as a special constable there’s one event which really stands out. I’d been on duty at a South Somerset carnival and my shift finished at 11:00pm when a report of a missing person came through.”
“I volunteered to stay on and be part of a search party with a regular officer. The missing person had last been seen riding a bicycle. I had a searchlight and was looking over hedges and in ditches.”
“At about 3:00am, I spotted some handlebars in a ditch, which led me to the missing person, who was in the ditch, alive but very cold. That night I knew I had helped save someone’s life.”