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Meet PC Jack Douglas, Loughton’s newest officer, who’s ready to help people, keep them safe and catch criminals. He was also one of 70 new officers that proudly made the oath to the king on Friday 20th January.
But policing is only his recent accolade in a long list of protecting and serving his country:
“I was previously in the Military and was a Royal Guardsmen so the passing out parade felt like second nature. It’s something I pride myself in and I absolutely thrive in this kind of environment.”
But the day stood out to him more than any other royal parade, PC Douglas joined his colleague PC Manning in leading the drill and raising the ceremonial flags, an honour he wears like a badge:
“The day meant a lot, it’s a very proud moment, especially with all my friends and family present. And my wife especially has been my biggest supporter. It makes the intense weeks of training all feel worth it.”
At 40 years old, PC Douglas was first apprehensive about returning to academia:
“The most challenging thing for me has been the degree element to training. It’s been made easier by my fellow students as we’ve all clubbed together and helped each other where we can – it’s nice we've come out the other side feeling like a close-knit family. But education has never felt like my strong point. I came out of school at 16 and went straight into the military so it’s not something I’m familiar with. But I wish I could reassure myself from the start, I’ve managed to excel my own expectations because I love being a police officer, I never found myself waiting until the last minute to complete a bit of work or an essay, because I genuinely love all there is about policing.
“The best part of training for me has always been the practical side and I’ve always learned by doing. Because I’m a little older, I was worried about the ‘Powerpoint’ side of training – I didn’t always feel like the theory was going in as much as some of the younger students. But the team here are great, they cater to everyone’s needs and learning styles and the staff as well as my fellow students have made a very hard journey feel a lot more relaxed.”
When it comes to the physical side of policing, PC Douglas has never felt left behind:
“My hobbies help my life as a police officer, I enjoy running and working out – which helps with the kit – they’re heavy! It always makes me laugh when you see a pursuit on television and people often wonder why the officer can’t always catch the culprit. Well, the kit is heavy and the opposition is usually wearing something light, of course they’re lighter on their feet! So going to the gym is always a good idea!”
So, why has he decided to make Essex Police his new home?
“I live in London and people often ask me ‘why don’t you join the Met?’ but I chose Essex Police because of its reputation and it's something i've always wanted to be a part of and contribute to. Doing my research before I joined, I saw that the community has a lot more respect for the police, they’ve got a really good reputation. It’s also a gorgeous county – it’s a really nice place. I have family and friends that live here also and always talk about how beautiful it is. So I had already seen a lot of the county and just thought to myself ‘do you know what, this would be a really great place to work”
When talking about helping people, PC Douglas clearly feels passionate about his new responsibilities:
“I want people from all different walks of like to feel like they can trust and rely on us to help them in their time of need. It doesn’t matter where they’re from, what they’re doing, what colour skin they’ve got, it doesn’t matter to me, it really doesn’t. If they want or need our help – that’s what we’re there for. If I can make just one person’s day better on a shift, I’ll feel like I’ve done something worthwhile.”
When thinking about future plans, PC Douglas is chomping at the bit:
“There are so many opportunities here that I’m almost spoilt for choice. My dream is to eventually join firearms. I’ve carried firearms in the military and it’s not something that’s new to me so I feel very comfortable in that role. I know the process here is stricter which is something that entices me as there’s a proper procedure on how to handle them and when you’ll need to use them. You’re in the public eye more being a police officer and you’re called for a particular reason. I’d also look at the drill team, I’d love to pass on the skills that feel quite natural to me as well as learn more about the various roles that could be available. It’s exciting that you can transfer into departments that interest you.”
There is one thing he is certain of however, and that’s his passion for policing and the longevity of his career:
“I’ve worked hard to get here – it’s a job I’ve always wanted to do so I’ve been putting the work in and enjoying every minute. My mentality has always been to do whatever it takes to get here and I just know I’m going to love every minute of it going forward!
“To anyone deliberating about joining Essex Police, I would say 100 percent do it. If you feel like you’ve got the mentality for it and you like to help people, come join us. Every staff member and officer I’ve met so far has helped me in some way. Everyone is so friendly and accommodating and I promise you, you won’t regret it!”
Looking for a secure career that's all about protecting and serving the community? Join Essex Police. Apply by the end of this week and you could be starting in March!
If you #FitTheBill, get in touch.
If you’re applying as an officer, your starting salary will be £28,812 to £29,682 (this figure includes a £3,000 South East Allowance) and you could be earning up to £43,032 within seven years as a PC.
In addition, officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector receive an additional 10% of their basic pay for all hours worked between 8pm and 6am*.
*This payment is not pensionable and will be paid for each full hour worked. Where overtime is worked between 8pm and 6am, the rate of the allowance is still 10% of basic pay, not 10% of the overtime rate.