What is it which makes policing so different to other occupations? What makes that something which runs through your veins and sends excitement through every pore when it’s most unexpected. It’s the feeling of wondering into the dark on your own with just your wits and your uniform as your primary protection shield. It’s the fact that you are one tiny part of a huge support network that will come rushing to your aid when called for, and that support is something that not only you know, but they out there know.
The heater is on, that annoying hum where you adjust the compromise of noise to the correct delivery of heat. Just enough to keep you warm but not too much to make you over sleepy. My Police partner Chris is driver today. He and I haven’t said anything for a couple of minutes as the fatigue is setting in quite strongly now at 5.30 on this otherwise relatively quiet end to the night shift. The dull glow from the Police dashboard display buttons illuminated, waiting to be pushed into life and throw their red and blue lights around the countryside surrounding the car. Every push means a new emergency, means someone is in need of help, and they hope it will come soon.
‘Dear Chief Constable. I would like to join the police. Can you let me know when and how I can please? Thank you, Harry’.
Maybe a little too frank and to the point and lacking some descriptive content, but it’s the best I could do at the age of 10 years old just after I visited Newquay Police Station open day. I received a letter from an inspector in reply, and although I don’t think I still have it, the words I remember. They were welcoming words, saying how Devon and Cornwall Police looked forward to seeing my application when I was 19 years old. My career plan was set. In school I accomplished 6 O’levels mostly grade c and a touch typing certificate. I applied to join the Police when I was 19… and was rejected.
I’ve been on many a multi storey car park and on many a high bridge, talking to the lost souls who have ran out of ideas and need to end it all. I have made a bond with most, and have held their hand as they step gingerly back over the rail, and I have seen one fall after making that bond. I have heard the sound as the body impact below. I have felt the guilt that I failed. I have been in that home with a crying mother and a wrecked home, by a tenager she can no longer control, and I see the demons which possess the mind of that so innocent child, and I run out of ideas as to what to say to her.