Damian joined Essex Police as a Special Constable (SC) in the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, in June 2020. Here he talks about his experience of volunteering with Essex Police, how the force have supported him in his career and what he enjoys most about being a Special.
"I’ve been able to help a huge number of people at what could be considered the most stressful time of their life."
"I love the variety and the challenge that the job presents.
"I’ve always been the type of person that wants to help and this role is all about helping. I love it!"
"We live in a diverse community and its therefore vital that the force represents those we serve.
"It helps us understand different parts of our community and importantly helps us identify with them."
"I signed up during the pandemic, so literally anything that could have stood in the way did! The whole process was laborious, but in all fairness to Essex Police, it was unavoidable.
"The Business and recruitment team did a great job and the trainers worked their socks off – especially under the circumstances!"
"The world is a beautiful place because we’re all different – Difference should be embraced, not feared… perhaps if everyone felt the same, we wouldn’t all face the challenges we sadly do."
"It’s certainly opened my peripheral vision on life. I see more now than ever before and this insight has helped me in a number of ways. Empathy and leadership are two examples.
"The fact that my work in the specials has challenged my thinking has also helped me view things differently in work.
"I think it’s easy to go into ‘autopilot’ in life, especially as you get older. Essex Police and the role has sharpened me and that helps both at home and work."
"I’ve been able to help a huge number of people at what could be considered the most stressful time of their life.
"I’ve delivered CPR, bad news, great news – I’ve helped families in domestic crisis, I’ve helped people suffering with mental health episodes and I’ve had the opportunity to support the community on the front line."
"I would highly recommend it, but it does come with a caveat. Do your research and understand the role before committing.
"Becoming a Special Constable will not be for everyone but may be the opportunity for many to take the next step in their career or even their life.
"It’s a hugely rewarding opportunity, but it does come at a price. Like most things in life, you’ll only get out what you’re prepared to put in… but I can honestly say that it’s one of the very best things I’ve ever done."
"As a man in my mid-forties, being in a learning environment is a distant memory for me, so the college element presented the greatest challenge.
"However, the team at HQ are very aware that some will not find the academic part as easy as others and have subsequently created a learning package to support all levels of competency.
" I genuinely don’t find the job a challenge, even though I often face challenging situation."
"Essex Police will issue you with a number of tools to help you execute the role.
"A uniform, appointments (gas / cuffs / baton and training) but I know that the greatest tools I have at my disposal are communication and a rational approach.
"Your rapport with people will usually dictate the outcome of an interaction.
"Remember your humanity and try to approach people in a way that you’d expect to be approached yourself and don’t enter situations with any form of prejudice… you may be surprised (positively or negatively) if you do!"
"Rewarding, exciting and meaningful."
"I’ve been involved in some fairly ‘exciting’ encounters. Pursuits, warrants, public order incidents, rescues to name a few… but the one incident I’m most proud of was a mental health intervention.
"An incident that started with a suicide plan, but ended in a handshake, a sincere thank you from the individual and a promise to look at things differently.
"I felt that I made a real difference to this person’s life and that’s something that will be with me forever."
Do you fit the bill?
At Essex Police, we value difference, and know that we’re strongest when we all work together.
Our officers, staff and volunteers have different life experiences, different skills and represent communities from across our county.
We’re here for you and your loved ones in times of emergency, and we’re always looking for new people to join us.