Thought it was about time I did a little update on here, thanks to @PC123WANNABE for reminding me!
Since I last posted, I've pretty much completed my time as a tutored constable and will be being made independent in the next couple of weeks. At the end of the classroom training, you go out to your station and work with another officer who's a trained 'Tutor' for a number of weeks until you're allowed to work independently. In my force, the tutorship is 15 weeks. You usually get assigned one tutor and remain with that person the whole time with a midway review and a big review with your Sgt at the end to check you're ready. For me, I had one tutor until about half way until she went off sick (not my fault I promise!!). Since then, I've been with other officers, basically whoever is free, and for the past couple of weeks I've been with a traffic officer who's currently on beat and is a trained tutor.
I've learnt so much in my time with my tutors and I've managed to tick pretty much everything off the 'to-do' list of incidents required to become independent. These are pretty standard things but range from dealing with a Domestic, which I've had plenty of, attending RTC's, completing files, going to CPS for advice, giving cannabis warnings, drink drive procedure, searching etc etc the list goes on but everything kind of ticks itself off during the 15 weeks! I was really worried at the beginning that 15 weeks isn't enough time to become confident and despite still absolutely pooping myself about going to my first call alone, I've gained so much confidence with my tutors that I really do feel like I might be somewhere near ready.
I think I've become the shifts own personal #### magnet, everything I touch seems to end up being much more complicated than it first seemed. I've had a couple of really complicated domestics that I've found it difficult to deal with in terms of the workload and files, especially without a solid tutor during this time, but I think that's mostly due to being new and not knowing what jobs to prioritise, so just doing everything as if it's urgent and pretty much burning myself at both ends every shift.
I'd say that hardest thing I've had to do so far is definitely the files, which is something I never expected when joining this job. I knew there would be paperwork, because what job is without it, but I didn't expect to spend some 10 hour shifts sat behind a desk for 8 hours completing files and typing like a crazy lady. I've had moments where I've been so stressed, my brain is absolutely fried, I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm so scared to get things wrong. But for every one of those moments, I've had someone on my shift there to help me and pick me back up. It's such a family environment and I'd like to imagine it's like that at every station. It's a bloody hard job, especially the stuff behind the scenes.
But I absolutely love the satisfaction of getting a file in, or getting a nasty offender charged, the feeling of helping a really vulnerable victim and the adrenaline of going to calls. Like I said, I've been with a traffic officer for the past few weeks so I've done a lot of traffic work which I've really enjoyed. Last night alone I had two 165 no insurance seizures, a mobile phone ticket, two breathalyzers and a driver warning. I love that even when the shift is a bit quieter in terms of calls, there's nothing stopping you from going out and finding your own work, which is what we did last night, checking every car that moves and getting the naughty ones of the road. I think from the last few weeks traffic is something I'd really be interested in looking into in the future. But then again, everything else looks so fun too!!
I've had some scary moments, attending at houses in the middle of the night when domestics or burglaries are reported, but the moment that stands out to me as the scariest so far is when we were driving to custody with a prisoner when we were flagged down by a man who said his child had come out of her canoe and gone in the river and was being dragged away by the fast current. I've never ran over fields so fast in my life. My colleague called it in an units started flying to us from everywhere. I got to the bank where the family were all screaming the child's name and luckily she'd just managed to get to the edge to be pulled out. I could barely get a word in edge ways over the radio to tell everyone to stand down but I don't think my heart rate has ever got so high!! Luckily a happy ending with nobody hurt but for days I couldn't help but think how much worse it could have ended.
I really feel like an actual officer now, I've found my own style of doing things and my own way of speaking to people and even though I still make mistakes, and sometimes they're silly ones, I learn something new every day and face something that challenges me pretty much every shift. In terms of working shifts, I've absolutely loved it. I wasn't sure how I'd cope with nights but actually it's morning shifts that I dislike the most! I haven't had many weekends off but to be honest I haven't really minded. It is a sacrifice to your social and family life, I definitely don't see my family or friends as much, but it's really worth it.
I can still say I leave for every shift so excited to get to work, and that's something I'll not be taking for granted anytime soon!!