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A new series of social media posts highlights the officers and staff who make up Derbyshire Constabulary.
Our #BeyondTheBadge feature allows police officers to tell you about their role and why they joined.
As part of this, we spoke to PC Tammy Careless from Chesterfield, who joined us after a successful career in banking:
“For me, policing felt like a natural role to pursue. I did a public services course, met my now husband who is also a serving officer, and thought this is it. I decided to apply for South Yorkshire Police just after my 18th birthday.
I passed all the tests, got to the interview, and was told that I’d not got enough life experience. They recommended that I go away and get some experience elsewhere. I was gutted, this was my dream job.
So, I went away, found a job in a bank, and worked my way up for 25 years. When I was made redundant it almost felt like fate, a month after my redundancy there was a call for PCSOs [Police Community Support Officers], and there was also a call for the PCDA [Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship] roles.
I got in touch, said I was interested, and joined as a PCSO whilst waiting for my PCDA attachment.
Being out in the public and understanding the dynamics of a community was brilliant as a PCSO. If you like talking to people, gathering intelligence about pockets of crime and anti-social behaviour, I think it’s great for everybody. People will get to the point where they trust you."
"As a PCSO, there were a lot of people I engaged with, who some might say were a little unsavoury, but those people still needed help – whether it’s food banks or helping them get applications written for housing.
When I got the call offering me a place on the IPLDP programme to become a Police Constable, it was my birthday, I was on holiday in Turkey and I was over the moon.
The ten-week tutoring stage did feel a bit overwhelming. For me, being an older student at the time and learning new skills that were completely over my head was a challenge.
But I was glad when the ten weeks were done and as soon as I got out on my own it was like all the jigsaw pieces fitted together. So, I’m still smiling, and I don’t think I will stop smiling to be fair.
It’s always going to be daunting moving from a background of work that you’ve know or got qualifications in. That move, you’re always going to be nervous or anxious about. And I was.
I would say, if this is something that you’ve thought about and the opportunity is here now, grab the opportunity and just go for it because if you don’t, you’ll kick yourself.
Looking back now, did I have an opportunity to apply for the police in the 25 years I was working for the bank?
Yes, I did, but when you’re in the thralls of working for somebody else it’s out of sight, out of mind. If you’re thinking about it, get your application in.
With the police, you do find that you’re dealing with people on a regular basis, and the one good thing that I get out of this is that you really have an impact on somebody’s life.
That could be changing the cycle of domestic abuse, that somebody might have been in for most of their adult life. When you can come along and stop that chain, and hold that person’s hand into court, that’s when you know that you’ve done a grand job.”
More #BeyondTheBadge posts are available on our Instagram page.
We are currently recruiting for Police Officers and PCSOs, if these roles interest you please visit our careers website for more information.