A team of 34 new policing recruits have been sworn in to force this week.
The ceremony, which took place on Tuesday (1 September), was presided over by Mrs Anne Cowan JP, Deputy Chairman of the Leicestershire and Rutland Bench, Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach and Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon.
The new officers were all warmly welcomed into the force and congratulated on their achievements by passing the application stage, assessments and interviews to be offered their student officer positions.
During the ceremony the new officers, already dressed in their uniforms complete with personalised epaulettes, also received their warrant cards.
The experiences and backgrounds they bring to the force vary greatly. They include a former PE teacher, graphic designer, journalist, nursery nurse and taxi driver.
There were also a handful who have previous policing experience as PSCOs, special officers and call handlers.
One previous PCSO is Brian Reid who is 52 and originally from Scotland. He was based at Hinckley Road for 11 years and was on duty the day after the tragic explosion in February 2018. He worked at the scene for several weeks after the event and recounted the community spirit he experienced in the aftermath of something so devastating is something that will stay with him forever.
He is looking forward to the challenges that being a police officer will bring.
Brian says: “I have found that age has not been any sort of barrier within my policing career. I’m a father of two who are both proud of the job I do.”
Gursharan Singh has never been afraid to make ‘big changes’ in his life when he’s needed to and joining the force is another one to tick off his list. Having worked for an insurance company, as a recycling project manager, a petrol station operative while studying for a degree and an overnight taxi driver to allow him to spend as much time as possible with his children he’s not afraid of hard work and working outside of the traditional 9-5.
Gursharan said: “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t achieve your dreams, don’t let anyone put barriers in your way. I was told I had diabetes two years ago and was worried this would affect my chances of joining the police so I changed my lifestyle and eating habits and successfully lowered by blood sugar levels. Although they will still be monitored regularly it won’t have an impact on my work.”
As part of the role officers have access to a range of support and are encouraged to seek help and advice if they needed it.
To highlight the importance of this to the next generation, the ceremony closed with a very personal account from a long serving roads policing officer who shared the impact being a first responder to an accident site had on him. He talked about how reaching out and asking for help allowed him to access bespoke counselling to help process and deal with his experiences.