PC Rhys Lawrence
What did you do before the police?
I previously worked in a security response team for an exhibition centre which included looking after shops, bars, hotels and the exhibition centre itself. I also worked as a doorman for a variety of nightclubs over the past four years but I’ve always wanted to become a police officer in Essex.
Why did you join Essex Police?
I’ve always wanted to join the police so I took the leap of faith! Joining has opened up a variety of challenges and each day is different to the next.
Where area of the county are you going to be serving?
I am going to be working in the west of the county, in Harlow. That’s what is great about Essex Police is that it borders London and deals with many of the same crimes and issues creating a challenging career for me.
What have you enjoyed about your training?
I have enjoyed the practicals as they are very challenging and they help put my police powers into practice. The tutors are very good, they push us to be the best officers we can be while still supporting us when we find something challenging.
What’s been your most memorable moment?
My most memorable moment was during defensive skills when we experienced being sprayed with the defensive gas that we use on duty. It is a rare occasion that we’d have to use our CS gas but when we do, there is no doubt we’ll get caught by the spray ourselves in the commotion of the incident. It’s an interesting experience and no matter how big or small, struggled to walk in a straight line due to the effects. The effects wore off fairly quickly and we were able to help each other out – that’s what it’s all about, being part of a family.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of becoming a police officer?
My biggest advice is to be confident and open minded. Take a chance, as I was extremely happy with my previous job and was concerned about leaving however since leaving I have not looked back and I am extremely happy that I made that decision.