As part of Volunteers Week we spoke to PC Andrew Hollies who in his spare time volunteers as a Cadet Leader. Andrew joined us 22 years ago and covers Birmingham city centre.
The day started with….
A quick cup of coffee, it has to, before either a cycle ride to Digbeth or a trip into the city on public transport.
I’m responsible for….
Intelligence sharing across the city centre and its various partners. I act as a link between them and often chair our partnership meeting which takes place three times a week.
I joined up….
In 1999 having initially been unsuccessful in 1994. For me it was my dream job so I’d still be trying now if I hadn’t been successful!
The department is…
Birmingham West Neighbourhood Policing Unit (BW NPU). I’m posted to Birmingham City Centre. It’s such a fantastic and diverse place to work.
I got here….
Via a number of pre police administration roles and then 13 years on the K1 and SW as it later became known. I’m also a Police Cadet Leader and fell into volunteering after spending a week WMP Cadets transporting them to and from the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. I was just taken aback by their vitality, lust for life and their willingness to help people. I wanted to be more active in helping. WMP had given me so much and I believed it was a good way to give something back.
My typical day….
Involves sorting through relevant crimes, intelligence reports and ID requests. We decide what information we can share with partners to try and get the bad guys identified. The city centre really does have the feeling of being one big family and WMP has plenty of cousins out there who want to help keep the city safe. If I can be a small part of that big team, keeping people safe than that feels awesome!
My most memorable moment…
Was receiving my Long Service and Good Conduct medal from Mr Thompson. I was incredibly proud to have my wife and daughter with me at ceremony. It’s hard to believe I’ve had 22 years in the service. It’s flown by! I still think I’m 28 which was the age I joined. However, my body reminds me I’m 50 this year!
The best part of the job…
Is actually something I’m not paid to do. It’s being a cadet leader. It’s the most rewarding thing to do. Hopefully, we’re encouraging and helping young people to get out there and make something of themselves, whether they want a career in the police or just want to have some fun and learn some interesting life skills. It’s good they have something to do other than be stuck in the house on a computer.
The worst part of the job…
Is not being able to help and protect everyone. I think as a force we give it a really good go. I’m non-operational at the moment because of an injury that’s causing quite a few issues but I’ll hopefully be back operational after some rehab.
If I didn’t do this job I’d….
Be in some kind of customer focus role of some sort. I’m a sociable person and I like being around people. You have to be to do this job. If you can’t speak and relate to people it makes a hard but rewarding job that little bit tougher.