TWENTY-FOUR new student police officers have begun their careers with West Midlands Police but their first day was a very different experience to those who’ve gone before.
The officers didn’t get to arrive at the Police’s Tally Ho training base and pull on their uniforms for the first time, in fact they didn’t even leave their homes.
The group, 18 men and six women, all got up last Thursday and logged on for day one of training, which is all happening online due to the restrictions in place in response to Covid 19.
As they dialed in and introduced themselves to their new colleagues and tutors, they had a surprise appearance from Chief Constable Dave Thompson.
It is the first time a Chief Constable has taken part in the online training being delivered to student officers across the wider West Midlands region, in partnership with Staffordshire University.
“When you all thought about joining I’m sure you didn’t think your first day would be like this,” said Mr Thompson.
“This is an unusual situation we are all in, where we are having to welcome and meet each other virtually. I know a lot of your learning under the new student officer programme will be done this way and it’s great that we are able to continue, using this technology.
“It is a really strange start for you all, because in policing teamwork and camaraderie are both very important. So, I am sorry that you won’t have this in a traditional sense at the start of your careers, but this won’t be forever and you will get back to a more traditional policing experience before long.”
The Chief went on to answer questions from students, which ranged from his first arrest (a pair of elderly, drunk shoplifters in Manchester!) to what advice he would offer himself if he was starting his career again.
The recruits’ average age is 24 and all dialled in from the West Midlands and surrounding areas. Amongst the group are people who have worked in teaching, retail, the armed forces, security as well as one former West Midlands Police PCSO.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “Being a police officer is an incredibly rewarding and challenging career even when we are not facing a global pandemic and none of the student officers could have predicted that their careers with West Midlands Police would have begun like this.
“Our new officers will play a key role in making the West Midlands a safer place for us all.
“These are extremely challenging times however, I know that they will step up to ensure that we are all kept safe and I wish them all the best of luck as they begin their new careers.”
To find out more about the student officer programme and other police careers on offer, visit: https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/