Saving a suicidal man's life inspired Hucknall man to become a special constable

A volunteer police officer from Hucknall has explained how helping to save the life of a suicidal man inspired him to do more to serve the public.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 4:16 pm

Special Constable Samuel Smith has just spent the new year doubling up on night shifts in Mansfield town centre on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The former doorman works as an engineer by day, but chose to volunteer as a police officer after a chance encounter with a suicidal man on a road bridge in 2018.

He explained: “I was driving with my partner on the A610 when I spotted this guy on the wrong side of the bridge.

Helping save a suicidal man's life inspired Sam Smith to become a special constable. Photo: Nottinghamshire Police

"I could see things weren’t right and I was worried he was going to jump. Instinctively I used my car to block off the lane directly underneath him and helped to divert traffic.

“Me and another guy then went up to try and talk to him as the police arrived.

"I could see that he was having a really tough time so I just started talking to him.

"I managed to build up a bit of a rapport with him and eventually managed to get him to step away.

"When he did, I grabbed him and pulled him back over the bridge.”

For his actions that night Sam was given a commendation by Nottinghamshire Police – an award that got him thinking about a future career in policing.

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He continued: “I’ve kept in touch with the guy since and he has really turned things around.

"I guess I thought that if I could make that kind of difference to somebody’s life as a member of the public, what could I achieve as a police officer?

“Joining up as a special constable is a way for me to dip my toe in the water and see how a career in policing suits me, at the same time as helping the public.

"I have some relevant experience of conflict management as a doorman and a football steward and I am looking forward to learning more with Nottinghamshire Police.”

Special Constables are volunteer officers who have the same power of arrest as another warranted police officer.

They receive the same introductory training as all new recruits but are not paid for the shifts they work – or indeed the inherent risks they face.

Inspector Nick Butler, district commander for Mansfield, said: “Being a front-line police officer can be extremely challenging and even uncomfortable at times.

"You can be put in some very challenging situations at times and also know you run the risk of being hurt.

"So I am always full of admiration for people like Sam who volunteer in this way to work with us and help to keep the public safe.”

For more information about joining Nottinghamshire Police as a volunteer special constable, click here.