Twenty one officers have formally graduated from their student officer programme today – a first for West Midlands Police.
The officers started their WMP careers in 2019 as a group of new recruits who became the first to join our brand new Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP). In October 2021, the group of 40 completed their studies and passed their Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.
They have trained for two years, spending time learning all aspects of policing on rotations in our busy Public Protection Units, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Neighbourhood Policing Units and our frontline Response teams, while also completing academic studies as part of their course, delivered by Staffordshire University.
Those pioneering DHEP recruits were joined by friends and family to celebrate the completion of their studies and were congratulated by both the University and West Midlands Police.
ACC Richard Baker, Director of People Nicola Price and a representative from Staffordshire University conducted the ceremony at Tally Ho, where they celebrated and reflected on the students’ achievements, as they joined a brand new course, trained in a new career, juggled practical police training with academic studies – and all during a global pandemic.
Nicola Price congratulates the officers for their professionalism and dedication. “I have no doubt that all of the graduating students joined WMP to make a difference in our communities and I’m bursting with pride and recognition for the incredible work they have done during these past two years,” she said.
“And what a two years it has been; having only completed a few months of operational policing, the country embarked on a global pandemic. It’s fair to say that 2020 will be burned in our hearts and minds as the year that Covid changed the way we lived, worked and played forever.
“As a force we stood up to the challenge, but as individuals new to policing, the hours the students have worked, the sacrifices they have made, how they’ve supported each other and rallied to support and serve our community, has been truly outstanding.”
These officers may be the first but there are hundreds who will also be reaching the end of their student officer training over the coming months. Further cohorts of DHEP student officers will graduate early in 2022 while our first ever cohort of Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) recruits will complete their three years of training and formally graduate in summer 2022.
The graduating officers joined as we began our first major recruitment drive in years, as part of the national Police Uplift Programme. Since its launch in summer 2019, we have welcomed 1864 new officers to WMP and processed over 17,500 applications to join us on our student officer programmes. Uplift means we have over 950 more officers today compared to July 2019.
Our student officer programme is currently oversubscribed and both the PCDA and DHEP programmes are closed for applications. If you are interested in learning more, visit our careers website: https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/police-officer-recruitment/ or sign up for job alerts to be notified when we reopen: https://wmp.referrals.selectminds.com/user/settings