Officer joins police to fight injustices he was served
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A Derbyshire officer has come forward to tell his story of why he joined the police, after his life was turned upside down during his teenage years.
Cameron was a normal teenager, enjoying life whilst looking forward to the future. He’d dreamed of joining the army, after looking up to his dad who would regularly tell him stories of his service. He had a foundation army college lined up and was ready to take his next steps into a uniformed military career.
But one evening when he was only 14 years old, his plans and the rest of his life were, unbeknown to him, about to change.
His mum had picked him up from a date and the pair were driving home, laughing, and enjoying the stories of the evening together. When out of nowhere, a car flew into them and hit them at the side. It T-boned their vehicle and Cameron’s mum was knocked immediately unconscious. The car was written off, but Cameron managed to crawl out and call for help.
Once the emergency services arrived, he watched his mum be cut out of the car with a suspected spinal injury. Later, it was confirmed that two of her vertebrae had been broken, and further surgery was needed to add metal plates to her spine.
Whilst watching the scene Cameron watched the other driver, who was uninjured, try to run away. Thankfully she was detained and questioned by police. The driver turned out to be over the limit for both drink and drugs and was arrested and charged. She had been the sole cause of the crash due to losing control whilst under the influence.
From that day everything changed for Cameron. His mum went from having a successful career and being fiercely independent- to having to quit her job and rely on Cameron as her carer. They moved away from the area the collision had taken place to try and start afresh, with all the family having to consider new options for how they lived their lives.
It was clear to Cameron that the army was no longer an option. He needed to stay with his mum so he could continue to care for her, a decision no young adult should ever have to face.
At that moment he realised that he could prevent others from enduring the same pain if he joined the police. He could protect people as he had planned, but with the ability to still care for his mum.
He began classes at college to take his new route of policing and put hard work and determination into his new life ambition of joining the police. By the age of 21 he’d done it, he was in training school and ready to start a new chapter.
Cameron said, “At 19 I was already applying to join the police, I wanted to join to stop this happening to others. I knew it was the only way I could prevent other families from going through what we did.”
His whole family were incredibly proud of his decision, and all made sure they attended his attestation, where he gained his warrant card at the end of his training period.
Once out of training school, Cameron headed onto response in Chesterfield. He added, “When on response you really had to learn on the job. I’d had no experience of policing before, my life had been focused on joining the army. I found it really hard at first, but one day it just all sunk in. I knuckled down and love everything about my job now.”
In his first week Cameron attended a number of incidents, none of them resulting in an arrest, but all developing his skills. Until one shift, when he got the call to attend a suspected drink driver. In a full turn of events his first arrest ended up being a drink driver, as though everything lined up as if it was always meant to be.
Cameron added, “I’d never told anyone the real reason why I joined the police. I didn’t want people to see me differently, even though I know now that it wouldn’t have been the case. So nobody knew the significance of that first arrest. It was completely coincidental, but also felt like confirmation that I was on the right path.”
“In that moment it felt so good. I was able to see the impact of a drink drive arrest from the other side, taking the drunk person to custody and seeing how they reacted.
“It made me feel like I was making a real impact, my actions actively helped and could have prevented something awful from happening. It felt so rewarding.”
Since then, Cameron has worked hard in his role, he’s settled into response and is an integral part of the team. He’s recently gone through the process of applying to be an acting sergeant and is hopeful to join the armed response team in the future.
To support the force, Cameron also attends additional careers events to speak to other potential recruits, giving his experiences to them to help others understand the role better.
It was at one of these events where he met another young man, also with eyes set on joining the army, but experiencing similar emotions to Cameron. After speaking to him, the young man contacted our team to share positive feedback and let us know how much Cameron had helped him. He’s now looking to share his experiences further, in the hope that others who might be going through the same, see how positive outcomes can happen.
Cameron said, “I’ve found that you will always get to where you need to be in life, that path just might not be as you expect. I love every single day that I have at work. Sometimes it’s stressful and you have a lot on, but you’re helping people.
“The impact you can make in this job is huge, I just want to get out there and help others.”