Six years ago Steve decided he wanted to push himself to try something new. He’d always been interested in policing but worked full-time as a chef and had a young son to look after. He signed up to be a special constable and has since been promoted to the role of special sergeant, with his own team of officers to manage.

We caught up with Steve to ask him a few questions about his experience as a special:

How do you balance your role alongside your full-time job and dad duties?

I work as a chef in schools which frees me up to duty as a special in the evenings, weekends and especially in school holidays. However I do have a 6-year-old son at home, which does make it a bit more difficult, but the great thing about being a special is that it’s completely flexible. You can choose when you want to come in, as long as you complete 16 hours per month. (I’m lucky to have a supportive network of family and friends too!)

Sometimes after a busy week, you wouldn’t think the Friday night shift would sound too appealing… but as soon as my uniform is on I get a second wind and I’m raring to go!

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

As you would imagine, the role is rewarding in lots of ways. As a serving special, I think the most rewarding part is being able to actively help people when they need it the most, and also being able to help people change their lives for the better. As a special sergeant I love seeing the development of our new specials. After providing them with belief, training and mentoring it’s fantastic to see their confidence and ability grow, and supporting them to achieve what they set out to.

Watching my son grow up with dreams of becoming a police officer himself is the greatest reward of all. 

What skills have you gained since joining?

I’ve gained a lot of personal confidence in myself and I’ve also learned how to stay calm and in control in stressful situations. When responding to an emergency incident, whether it be a domestic assault, road traffic collision or something else, it’s vital to be able to use that confidence to take control of the situation, even when those involved are not. The training and support we receive is brilliant and will equip you to deal with any eventuality.

I truly believe the skills I’ve learned from my initial training, right through to now, have helped me in so many ways. Skills such as confidence, the ability to think on my feet and take control of stressful situations can apply to all aspects of my life.

What would you say to someone who is considering joining

I’d say do it. If you want to make a difference to your community, challenge yourself, and do something good with your spare time please come and join our policing family. It’s such a rewarding thing to do and you can gain so much life experience from it too. But most of all, it will give you so much pride in yourself!