(CYP) Children and Young Persons Officer – Uttlesford District
Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born in the USA, before moving to Northern Ireland and then to RAF Lakenheath in 1985. Later in life, I had to apply and pay fees to become a British citizen. I qualified as my mother is from Northern Ireland.
My American accent gradually transitioned to the ol’ East Anglian tones I currently mutter, albeit with the occasional slippage in terms of pronunciation – garage, and aluminium to name a few!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’m passionate about helping people and that’s why I love policing.
It runs in my family. My uncle was a Police Captain in Tampa Bay Police Department in Florida along with his wife and their son.
My sister and brother-in-law are also serving police officers in the Metropolitan Police Service.
Like my Children and Young Persons Officer colleagues, I especially strive to help and assist younger people. Unfortunately, like a lot of people in society, I endured a difficult childhood which has inspired me to do all I can to support, safeguard and signpost any young person who is struggling and help them overcome and achieve all that they can.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
Diversity and inclusion are vital both in and outside of the workplace.
Thinking about it logically, what is the alternative? Choosing not to interact with other people who are different to you in some way is simply madness and not conducive to anything constructive or positive.
Everybody is different in some way. None of us are exactly the same fortunately, the world would be a pretty dull place. I have twin nieces and they’re like chalk and cheese but they’re both lovely.
Embracing, acknowledging and respecting one another allows us to progress, move forward, overcome hurdles along the way and above all helping each other to make things better for current and future generations.
Diversity within Essex Police continues to prosper alongside the local communities within Essex, with every police colleague fully committed to do all they can to help people, keep them safe and catching criminals.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
The only initial barrier was getting the British Citizenship issue sorted!
In all honesty, I then went out of my way to make it as difficult as possible for the police to turn me away.
I did this by completing a BA (Hons) Degree in Law and Social Policy at Anglia Ruskin University and during this time became a Special Constable with Suffolk Constabulary whilst studying to increase my life and work experience.
I was physically fit and coached and ran after school sports clubs as well as working at RAF Lakenheath in a customer service role.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
Diversity and inclusion embraces and enhances the understanding of all cultures and promotes integration and understanding, which ultimately benefit the organisation as each and every colleague feels valued, both of terms of who we are and the contributions we make to the people of Essex.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
Essex Police has supported me personally by allowing me to return to the police force after a two-year break as a Safeguarding Officer in a secondary school. They’ve also given me the freedom to actively work with outside agencies to focus on reducing criminality amongst young people. The training has always been superb, and I genuinely feel valued. I know that if there were any issues affecting me personally, I would be able to seek help and not be judged for doing so.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
I regularly liaise with Youth Offending Teams, attend out of court disposal panels, safeguarding and child in need meetings, basically working with a whole host of professionals concerned in safeguarding, protecting and above all supporting young people. It’s a privilege and an honour and everyone always puts in one hundred percent.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
If you want to help people and make a difference, you’re in the right place. It doesn’t matter who you are, providing you’ve got that enthusiasm, put your name in the hat and apply.
Building and maintaining the trust from the community is key and is where we get their consent and support. Anyone wanting to join should not delay - apply today.