The county's highest-ranking police officer has shared the story of how he fell in-love with the career after starting as a volunteer Special Constable – and is now urging anyone who thinks they could become Nottinghamshire Police’s ‘special someone’ to apply to join the force.
New Chief Constable, Craig Guildford, began his policing career as a volunteer Special Constable with Cheshire Police in 1992 while completing his university studies.
He joined the Cheshire force as a PC in 1994 and went on to serve in a variety of uniformed and detective roles within the National Crime Squad, West Yorkshire Police and Gwent Police.
He said: “I come from a policing family and, to be honest, had always wanted to join the army.
"But after speaking to a friend who was a Special Constable in another force, it piqued my interest. I started volunteering and, honestly, I never looked back.
“I volunteered whenever I could around my studies and soon got plenty of experiences of making arrests, breaking-up fights, roads policing and giving evidence at court. I remember it being daunting when I first started but they are experiences that stick with you.
“My time as a Special Constable completely changed my career choice. I applied to become a ‘regular’ officer in my third year at university in 1994 and began training two weeks after I finished my course.”
Special Constables are volunteer police officers who hold the same powers as regular Police Constables and work alongside uniformed officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and help support the work of their detective colleagues.
Nottinghamshire Police is currently looking to enlist more Special Constables to help work alongside officers on the front-line, and to 'help to make the communities they serve safer places to live'.
“Volunteers have an absolutely essential part to play in modern day policing,” added the Force’s Chief Constable.
“In Nottinghamshire Police alone, we have volunteers working in a range of roles, from Special Constables working alongside officers on the front-line and volunteers working behind the scenes to our ‘next generation’ who now join our policing family from the age of 13 as police cadets.
“During my time as a Special Constable, I served alongside people who worked in the postal service, as nurses, farmers, health service workers and even a chief executive for a local authority. Some people were looking to join full-time but the majority wanted to give a little something back to the community they lived in. In my view that’s what makes the Special Constabulary so good as it’s a complete mix of people of different experiences, backgrounds, cultures and ages.
“The varied skills and experiences that our volunteers offer really does help to improve how we protect the communities we serve by working alongside our officers and staff to further our knowledge, understanding and capabilities in so many areas of our work.
“My time as a volunteer Special Constable helped me to decide that a career in policing was what I wanted to do and I couldn’t recommend it enough to anyone who thinks they can make a difference in their community – even if they have no immediate plans to join the police full-time.”
For more information and to apply to become a Special Constable with Nottinghamshire Police, visit www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/specials before Friday 10 March 2017