Are you considering joining the Police Force?  Find out what it’s like from an Essex Police Officer.

It’s one of those ‘jobs like no other’.  Joining the police force is a calling and a vocation.  It’s not for everyone and the risks involved are very real.  It’s also incredibly rewarding and satisfying knowing you are making a positive difference to the community. 

If you like variety, the job will certainly keep you on your toes.  You’ll need to go from resilient to compassionate and then from assertive to calm in order to respond to a variety of situations.

We interviewed an officer from Essex Police and asked her to describe her experience, what she found the most challenging and most enjoyable.  We also asked her to give some advice to anyone considering joining the police today.

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Tell us about you?

“I have been a police constable for fourteen years and have worked in a variety of roles to include emergency response, community and neighbourhood policing as well as youth offending.”

Why did you join the police?

“I joined the police force as I was interested in the role of a dog handler.”

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Here are just a few of the roles within the police:

  • Emergency Response Team
  • Community/Neighbourhood officer
  • Public order/crowd control
  • Traffic officer
  • Control room/command and control
  • Dog handler
  • Mounted officer
  • Intelligence officer
  • Surveillance officer
  • Detective/investigation skills
  • Fraud/disclosure specialists
  • Royalty and diplomatic/VIP protection
  • Firearms officers
  • Fraud specialists

What was the most enjoyable part of your career and why?

“I personally found emergency response work the most enjoyable role I carried out. I liked the variety and believe it or not, I also liked the unsociable hours, working night shifts, and attending incidents which were challenging but also rewarding.”

What was the most challenging?

“The most challenging part of my work was juggling my workload and the long hours with a young family at home.”

Police Federation chairman Steve White said.   “Despite the extreme pressures the service is under, it is heartening that the majority of officers state they will still go the extra mile to protect the public from harm and that the police family is very much intact through the support officers provide each other.”  Sourced:  BBC News.

What skills would you say are the most beneficial in your career?

“People skills are the most valuable asset to a police officer. If you are able to communicate with everyone at all levels then you will have the ability to resolve situations successfully. You also need to be organised. There is a heavy amount of admin that comes with the job and you have to be diligent and organised when it comes to updating victims, working on criminal investigation reports, and always keeping your pocket notebook up to date.”

Here are just a few other transferable skills within the police:

  • Good decision-making
  • Calm under pressure
  • Physically fit
  • Follow policies and procedures
  • Dynamic risk assessment
  • Conflict resolution and problem-solving
  • Sensible, trusted and reliable
  • Analytical and investigative ability
  • Resilient
  • Knowledge of court procedure
  • IT literate
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Considerate and caring
  • Level-headed and responsible
  • Punctual, organised and a multi-tasker
  • Disciplined
  • Honest and loyal
  • Ready to work
  • Accountable and justification of actions
  • Partnership and team workers

What advice would you say to anyone considering joining the police?

“You have to consider whether you are prepared to work unsociable hours and work late on most days. The glamorous side of policing is a very limited part of the job. If you are organised and conscientious and willing to work hard then you will be an asset to the police force.”

Ask most officers today and they will probably tell you the job is a complex mix of adrenaline, uncertainty, danger, compassion, and a lot of paperwork.  You need to be realistic about the nature of the work involved in policing our communities.

The job is certainly not for the faint heartened.  Policing requires both physical and mental abilities.  From trying to understand what makes people behave the way they do.  To situations where quick reactions will save your life and the lives of others.

Still, serving as a Police Officer?  Thinking about leaving your job?

A practical, no-nonsense, step-by-step guide to taking the correct decisions in the right way to produce the outcome that you really want, written by someone who has been there and done just that!  Peter Kelleher, MSc.

For those who are thinking about changing their careers, or are having change forced upon them, this is a wise, humorous, practical, and eminently helpful guide through the minefield of uncertainty and doubt to reaching the decisions and the outcomes that are right for them.

Devised and developed by award-winning social entrepreneur Peter Kelleher, who has lots of experience with change and is an MSc qualified, programme-managing, entrepreneurial coach and mentor specialising in helping people and organisations considering a change.

Apart from being a ‘smarty pants’, he is also a switched-on strategist and effective practitioner and a really nice guy who helps people – and organisations full of people – move from where they are to where they want to be. He works in collaboration with teams of specialists across a variety of sectors to see what’s coming and to help people and organisations change in response.

How2Become a Police Officer

If you’re serious about joining the police force and want to maximize your chances of securing the job visit the How2Become website.  How2Become is the UK’s leading careers and educational information and development website.

From here, you can learn how to write a CV, how to complete an application form, how to pass psychometric tests, and also how to pass any job interview.

Take a look at the following: 

Essex Police say…

Essex Police aims to be an employer of choice, developing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities – attracting the best talent from the widest pool of people.

Final thoughts

We are incredibly grateful for the police officer who spent time answering our questions.  What a great and realistic insight into her career.  We are also grateful to those serving and protecting our communities from all sorts of threats.