Jonny Pearson - communication and crime recording officer
I started working for North Yorkshire Police in April 2014 in the Information Management department. But in August 2016 I began my training for a new role, swapping “Review, Retention and Disposal Assistant” for the easier to remember “Communication and Crime Recording Officer” The reasoning behind this change was to support my intention of joining the service as a police officer. I believed the experience I would gain in the control room would be more suited to support this.
Alongside this career change I am a Special Constable with North Yorkshire Police, so I looked forward to using my experiences and training from being a special, to help me with the change from HQ to the control room, and vice-versa.
Having some knowledge of the job of a police officer from my role as a special, I was eager to get involved and learn the full process, from initial log to dispatching to an incident. What followed was five weeks of classroom-based learning, which was never my strong point. In my experience of college, university, the Special Constabulary, and now this role, I should have bought shares in Lucozade!
I was lucky in that the group of other trainees were so varied, coming from all walks of life – from ambulance dispatcher to someone straight out of college, never having a shaved a day in his life. Not one of them gave me any worries that I had picked the wrong career though. You could see from day one that the group was going to contribute to the control room and be great to work with.
Our trainers definitely made me feel prepared for starting the job for real – keeping us engaged and using their wealth of knowledge. It was a shame when the five weeks of training ended.
A few weeks in and we were introduced to our tutors. From doing a personality test in training and being diagnosed as a “shark”, Jo, one of the trainers pointed out that it was a good match for my tutor. I had my worries that this personality would clash, but these were instantly dispelled upon meeting my tutor, Cath. Not so much over-bearing teacher but surrogate aunt, challenging me to justify my thought process on one hand, and bringing chocolates in on the other. Never just telling me to do stuff, but explaining the how and why, which is how I prefer to learn. If I can understand why we do something rather than just completing a series of clicks of a mouse, then I can apply this comprehension to my work.
The first live call….
For something I built up in my mind for so long, I now struggle to remember what it was. The taboo of taking that first call and trying not to mess up the appropriate greeting is something we had all discussed in training. Dreading either some world-ending incident, or the embarrassment of fumbling the call to the point of having to hand it over to your tutor. I certainly didn’t want to start our working relationship on such a note!
I still mess up, saying morning when it’s getting round to tea time, or struggle to find a place I’ve only ever driven past, even after nine weeks of tutoring. No-one has questioned the time of day with me -at least so far. But for everything else the system is there to help, your tutor is there to help and as I type this on my first day out of Tutorship, the rest of the team are there to help.