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A new course at South Essex College is aiming to provide the next generation of police officers in Essex.
The college has linked up with Essex Police to offer a full-time, two-year diploma in policing. It is the first course of its kind in the country.
The first cohort of 26 students met officers from across the force during their induction week at Wellstead Park in Westcliff.
They enjoyed demonstrations from officers from our Dog Section and drone teams, an interactive presentation on protective equipment and defensive skills, and got insights into life as a crime scene investigator, a sergeant in Southend town centre, and as an inspector for Roads Policing.
Steve Davey of the Kent and Essex Police Serious Crime Directorate was building partnerships with local schools and colleges in his role as the team supervisor for Protect and Prevent when he was approached about contributing to the course.
Having taken a similar qualification before he started his policing career in the 1980s, Steve anticipates that the course will lead to a steady stream of knowledgeable future police officers who’ll be well-equipped to keep the streets of Essex safe.
He said: “People will have their own opinions as to what being a police officer is like but until you talk to police officers working across different departments, you won’t realise what is truly involved.
“The practical side of the course makes it far more interesting and engaging, and my hope is that through the close working relationship between the police and the college, we will be able to get good quality recruits joining Essex Police.
“When people have been involved with the police on a regular basis through their college course, they’ll be a better fitness level, they will understand what is required through the application and interview process, and they will have a much better understanding what’s expected of them on their first day as an officer.”
Course leader Lee McCarthy, himself a former police officer, echoed Steve’s comments.
He said: “This is a beneficial way for the police to have readymade recruits. Instead of someone just walking in off the street and saying, ‘I want to be a police officer’, we’ll have people who’ve completed two years of policing studies and have a diploma and practical experience behind them.
“Young peoples’ knowledge of policing tends to come from what they’ve seen on TV, YouTube or social media. By exposing them to professional policing, the students get to develop their understanding about what’s involved in the role.
“Meeting experienced and professional police officers will help the students make decisions about where they could take their careers and they’ll get that valuable hands-on instruction and guidance.”
Find out more about the course on the South Essex College website.
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