One of our piloting officers, Stuart Johnstone, shares a typical day as a Community Officer with us…
“When I started to think about a typical day on the job, it occurred to me that there is no such thing. It also occurred to me that this fact is absolutely the best thing about the job.
Since joining the Police 8 years ago I quickly learned that one day often resembles nothing of the previous or following day, indeed the same can be said from one hour to the next.
One minute I’m attending a report of a serious road accident and the next I’m sitting down with a neighbourhood group discussing the community in general and addressing their concerns over a cup of tea. Rather than be frustrated at the topsy-turvy nature of the job, you can’t help but love it. A 10 hour shift on a Saturday night may sound like a long working day but it all too often flies by in the blink of an eye and I find myself working frantically to the last minute trying to get everything done.
I have worked in many facets of the Police during my service and have enjoyed them all, but my most recent post as Community Police Officer for Kinross is easily one of the most rewarding to date. The face to face interaction with the community, visiting the high school and chatting to students and dealing directly with quality of life issues for residents in my area provide an enormous amount of satisfaction.
I work a mixture of early shifts and late shifts, all of which usually start with well intentioned plans for the day ahead, usually starting with checking e-mails, having a look at the incidents in my area while I’ve been off duty and responding to Twitter and MyPolice messages addressed for my attention. Often I will attend meetings for Community Councils, or meetings with partner agencies at the High School. I may be asked to give a talk to a school group, activity group or a community group. Ideally I will have time to walk in my area, talk to local businesses and chat to members of the public to find out what issues they’ve been having. I may have follow up enquiries from previous incidents to attend to or attending calls which have been left for my attention. Of course all of these things come secondary if, and when something serious happens and the well intentioned plans are put to the side and it’s all hands to the proverbial pump.
Life as a Police Officer is not without its challenges, but the return is a tremendously varied and rewarding career which I wouldn’t change for anything.”