It has been one week since we welcomed our final group of Police Community Support Officers of 2020 who have completed their five-week training course.
On their last day of training (4 December), our new PCSOs were formally welcomed into Derbyshire Constabulary by Temporary Chief Superintendent Tracy Lewis and Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, who were joined by course trainers, Constable Darren MacDonald and Constable Simon Wolverson.
Constable MacDonald had this to say about his group: “Due to current coronavirus restrictions the group was split for training, I taught my group of seven from Police and Fire Headquarters in Ripley. The group is diverse with differing ages (nearly 40 years in some cases), backgrounds and previous experiences – this all made an interesting mix.
“They have worked so hard in these difficult and unique times coming together as a team. All of them have supported each other, making their initial training both a memorable and positive experience. Now they face a new challenge, one which I know they will both enjoy and excel in. I wish them well in their future, it has been a true pleasure teaching and getting to know them all.”
Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, said: “PCSOs play a hugely important role in our communities as part of our neighbourhood policing teams and I’m pleased to see that my budget has allowed us to increase PCSO numbers in Derbyshire. Congratulations to everyone graduating today, I wish them all well. Derbyshire Constabulary is a great place to work, offering plenty of career opportunities to all members of the workforce.”
Amongst this group of PCSOs, we have a retired Derbyshire police officer, a former duty manager at QUAD and Derby Theatre, a former facilities management officer at Derby City Council, a supermarket manager and someone who worked for an electrical wholesaler and university graduates. Although they have come from different working backgrounds, they all share the common interest in wanting to make a positive difference and being able to support and help those in the community. They have enjoyed doing role plays, learning about the different laws and case studies and becoming good friends with each other.
After a year of uncertainty and changing how we have trained our police officers, staff and volunteers, we would like to give a special thank you to our trainers. In March they all adapted to a new way of teaching and continued to deliver high-quality lessons. They've successfully trained over 220 police constables, PCSOs and special constables this year, which is a credit to the way they taught lessons online and more recently, going back to a more traditional classroom-based learning, with a few adjustments such as having two smaller groups instead of one.
You may have already seen our new PCSOs in areas such as: Amber Valley, Chaddesden, Chesterfield, Cotton Lane, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash, High Peak, Peartree and Staveley.