I am a team leader within the force control room (FCR) and cover as the acting team manager when required. I started working for Kent Police when I was age 17 in an administrative role however when I turned 18, I applied to become a contact handler within the FCR. I worked my way through the role as a contact handler and became a dual skilled dispatcher. After 4 ½ years I left Kent Police to work for the British Transport Police in their control room where I remained for two years before returning to Kent Police in January 2018.
I manage staff with varying levels of experience, supporting and developing them to become competent in the role. I achieve this with coaching, call evaluations, one-to-one support, live listening or simply just answering questions or concerns they may have. There is an operational side to my role which includes quality assuring any risk assessments of incidents, prioritising incidents, and intervening on some of the more critical incidents. Due to the nature of the job, there is an emotional aspect to the role. Some incidents we deal with can be quite shocking and it is important to know that there is welfare support available to staff, such as occupational health, counselling, TRIM (trauma risk incident management) and regular one-to-one support. There is lots of other support available including, physio, benevolent fund, access to the on-site gym and the Kent Police Recreational Association who provide sport clubs, discounted holidays, and a lottery scheme amongst other things.
This role helps you gain important life skills. You not only benefit from gaining a wealth of knowledge, such as law, legislation, and processes, but it teaches you key communication skills and makes you aware of safeguarding concerns and issues to look out for. This is not only beneficial in your role, but can also help colleagues, family, and friends. This role is like no other, no day is the same and you will be working in a fast-paced environment where incidents or situations can change suddenly, and you must adapt to the situation.
For anyone thinking of joining I would say you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. You will not start the role knowing everything but with the available support you will learn how to find anything out. I wish anyone applying the best of luck, Kent Police can offer you a career which can move in all manner of directions.