The previous week I collected most my operation uniform, minus my CS and radio from the central store at the forces HQ. I had taken it home opened it all and possibly tried it all on my bedroom. I looked like a police officer but I didn’t feel like one!
Finally after what seemed like the longest week ever I was driving to the station for the first time, I drove through the metal gates and parked. I got all the gear id been given and attempted to carry it all towards the station, not that I knew where the door was. I found someone and just followed them, it’s a small station really but at the time it felt huge. I introduced myself and found my tutor officer who showed me were all my stuff goes and gave me tour of the station. I got kitted up and followed my tutor into the briefing room. It was like the first day of school, except everyone seemed to like me, to my face at least.
After introductions the sergeant gave the briefing and off out we went, first job was to get my CS and radio conveniently from two stations on opposite sides of the force, still it was my first time in a police car so it wasn’t all that bad. At this point I still felt a con artist, people looking at me assuming that I was a cop… fools.
Once I’d collected the bits I needed we headed back to the station I was based at. The intention was to get coffee and go through my folder with my tutor when some cops who were not in the briefing asked if we could assist with an arrest attempt as there are only two of them in today. Perfect my tutor seemed to think, I was less sure. Anyway we went outside and it transpired the other cops worked on an offender management team they and now we were off in the van to try and lift a wanted man who was a known fighter and runner. At the address we cover the back and the others go to the front. The man did think about running as he opened the back door, however he saw us and was sensible enough to go back in and let us all in. I watch and try my best to learn ‘the way to do it’. We get dropped off at our station as the van goes to custody.
I get properly introduced to the rest of the section and had some coffee with everyone. I don’t know why but I though they’d all be anti-specials and miserable and grumpy. Turns out not one of them are and welcome me onto the team.
We head out in the car to tour the area and look for anything suspect. Almost straight away we get a job on the radio, a domestic, and it’s my first blue light run. My adrenalins pumping and I feel like I’m ready for anything and everything. That’s until we pull up and I remember I still have no real idea what I’m doing. It turns out it’s a verbal argument of access to a child and nothing major, however it’s in at the deep end as I do my first (of many) domestic forms under the guidance of my tutor.
We resume and drive around some more, and then some more. My tutor has me check almost every vehicle we pass to get my radio confidence up, much to the annoyance of the control room operator. We eventually return to the station and look through my folder and wait for change over time. Still I feel like I’ve learnt a lot but I’ve also realised training school was less helpful than I expected and that I knew very little. I put my kit away in my locker and just before I went I introduced myself to the local inspector and advised my sergeant and tutor that I’d be in for the next two shifts as casually as I could. Secretly I really enjoyed myself and seamed to get on with the team really well, and couldn’t wait to be back.