This continues to be an extraordinary time especially for our new starters. Today (Friday 3 July) the latest additions to Derbyshire Constabulary finished training in readiness for their new careers as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
Their training covered an understanding of the law and how to help those in need, as well as the use of police IT systems. Training usually takes place in a classroom environment at the force's training school in Ripley, but like other cohorts during the Covid-19 pandemic, we supported them remotely and they completed most of their training online.
On their very last day of training we brought them together one last time for a chance to say goodbye to each other, enforcing social distancing of course. Assistant Chief Constable Paul Gibson met up with them at our headquarters and congratulated each one of them with an official certificate to mark passing the intensive five-week course.
Assistant Chief Constable Gibson said: "It's good for them and good for us that we've been able to recruit these very promising new PCSOs.
"This intake bolsters our numbers and allows us to replace existing PCSOs who have gone on to become police officers. I know they will play a crucial role in the work we do in our neighbourhoods, and they will respond fabulously, maintaining an essential service in difficult circumstances.
"I would also like to thank everyone in training for their amazing efforts, while it's been necessary to physically distance from one another, they have put measures in place to use digital resources more to deliver training."
Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: "Policing is a great career with so many different opportunities and I know that many PCSOs decide that they wish to become fully fledged police officers.
"A PCSO is a valued member of our local neighbourhood policing teams and the role allows individuals to gain valuable experience in one of the top performing police forces. I’m delighted that we have been able to continue to recruit people into the organisation throughout the challenges of the last few months and hope it gives the public confidence that we are meeting our promises regarding recruitment this year.
"I wish everyone completing their training in this tranche the very best of luck in the future and look forward to meeting them to congratulate them personally."
Look out for our new PCSOs in the towns of Ripley, Ilkeston, Matlock, Clay Cross, Chesterfield, Shirebrook, Killamarsh, and the city of Derby. And of course, say hello to them keeping a 2m distance!