PC Jonathan Hayton is one of our newest recruits and currently joins an intake of 34 other new officers to help support policing in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The 38-year-old who now lives in Leicester has finally fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a police officer.

He said: ‘I originally tried to join the military police at the age of 18 but unfortunately I didn’t make the grade by only 1%, but this still enabled me to join the Royal Engineers and I served in Iraq, Bosnia and Germany. My experience in the army taught me a lot about myself and to understand more about different cultures. I learned how to push and adapt myself and what I was capable of.”

After Jonathan’s six year military service, he then moved into close protection security. This led him into a role which he is immensely proud of which was working with vulnerable people as an Operations Director for a mental health ambulance service, used by the NHS.

He said: “I feel that the knowledge gained in this role will help me greatly in situations that I may encounter as a police officer working in the community, as I am comfortable dealing with extremely challenging situations.”

Despite the challenges which Jonathan faced himself growing up he never gave up on his dream to join the police.

He said: “When I was at school, I wasn’t very academic and I was put at the back of the class and made to feel stupid so I didn’t get the opportunity to reach my full potential. Then when I joined the army, I learned more about my learning style and realised that I actually had dyslexia.”

He added: “Ever since I left the military, there’s always been something missing for me. When I put on my police uniform now, I feel I have got my sense of purpose back. It’s the best feeling in the world knowing that you are serving your community and giving something back to society. Although the oath is different in the police, it’s that pride to serve the country again which I’m so passionate about.

“My life experience and personal struggles have taught me that empathy goes a long way and it’s also so important to understand the issue that you are faced with instead of judging it initially. I’m looking forward to building up my policing experience and seeing where my career can take me within the force.”

His message to others thinking about joining is: “I want people reading this article to see if I can do it, then so can they. Be brave and don’t let anything or anyone hold you back.”

Think you have what it takes to become a police officer? Visit our careers pages to find out more.