This month (Dec 21) we celebrated as our first ever group of student officers graduated from their training programme.
The 21 officers attended a formal ceremony, where they were congratulated for completing their Degree Holder Entry Programme, and received their Diplomas in Professional Policing Practice.
One of those officers was PC Laura Gordon. Laura, along with her student colleagues, started her training in 2019 and is now enjoying her time on Force Response in Stechford.
Here she tells her story.
Ever since I was six years old, it’s been my ambition to join the police. I first applied at the age of 18, but was told to go and get some life experience. So, I did that by going to university to study for a social policy and criminology degree, working as a manager at Asda, volunteering for three months with Raleigh International in Chile, travelling around the world and working as a PA to a senior civil servant.
When I reapplied at the age of 34, I was pleased that my various experiences had got me into the police graduate program.
To be there at last after all those years felt surreal and it was good to finally be doing the thing I had wanted to do forever.
Being on a brand-new programme meant there were a few teething problems, and I gave constructive feedback wherever I could. It was just as well that I was prepared not to have much of a social life during the course as there was a lot to get through, with online training from 8am-5pm, followed by loads of reading matter to get through in the evenings.
We had to do a lot of study at home because of CoVID and I missed being able to learn alongside colleagues and share questions and ideas. Now that I’m doing the job, the course has given us lot of information that will be useful in a few years.
During the programme, we got to meet loads of people, and that gave me opportunities to find out what people do, make connections and build my understanding of different parts of the organisation. As part of public order training, I got sent to Cornwall for the G7 Summit and was able to talk to people from all over the country. It was a real bonus for my job to involve watching the sunrise in such a beautiful place.
I’m now working on response at Stechford. It’s a great team of people I feel I can really be myself with and I love the feeling of getting into the car for a blue light run. It’s great to see the relief on people’s faces when you arrive to help them, although of course, not everyone reacts to us like that.
One of my best moments was when I found a teenage boy and took him back home. From the information we had, we expected a troubled or difficult young man, but when I talked to him, it turned out he was lovely, but was having a difficult time and had spent a lot of his life in care. He said he had been pushing the boundaries, but he knew his carers were good people and he was sorry he had upset them. After our chat, he agreed that in future he would let them know where he was, instead of just disappearing.
Looking forward, I don’t know what roles I will want to move into. At the moment I’m just enjoying what I’m doing and will wait and see how it all pans out.
Our student officers programmes are currently oversubscribed and are closed for applications. However if you’re interested in careers at WMP, visit our website: https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/ or you can sign up for job alerts, by visiting: https://wmp.referrals.selectminds.com/user/settings