“My dad is one of the biggest influences in my life, his advice of ‘you only get from this life what you put in’ has always made me work hard and has rewarded me both professionally and personally.
“Joining the police was almost inevitable for me, my dad was in West Midlands Police for 30 years and retired in 1992 as a superintendent. My mum was also in the police but she had to resign when she got pregnant with me in 1972.
“Times were obviously very different then, the workforce never had the flexibility it has today unfortunately. I think this was a real upset for her as she would have loved to stay and would have made a great police officer.
“I am a member of the Black and Asian Police Association (BAPA). I joined mainly to support others reach their potential and help improve representation in West Midlands Police but I have learnt so much in the form of reverse mentoring from staff of different backgrounds and cultures. It has made me a more informed leader and ultimately a better person.
“I genuinely believe that having more officers and police staff from a black, Asian or minority backgrounds (BAME), has a massive impact on trust within our communities. This is improving but we need to do more to get more senior officer representation.
“I had a great childhood. The thing I recall most is sport, lots of it! I used to love playing football, my dad would drive me all over to matches and watch every game regardless of the weather and how bad I played.
“My mum always had a home cooked meal ready for us on the table afterwards and would have to sit and listen to the rest of us dissect the matches we had just played in!
“These are values I have taken with me throughout my life, support your family, spend time together and always use meals times as a way to talk and share what is happening.”
#HumansofWMP | Richard Baker