Policing District Commander Junior Dann
During school I was an all-round keen sportsman with ambitions of becoming a professional footballer, playing at county level, and representing multiple amateur and semi-professional football teams. As a result, I did not apply myself to my academic studies and in my last year of school I was on the books of Preston North End (PNE) football club destined for a career in football.
Having left school with no qualifications, and now questioning my football career having been “let go” by PNE, I applied for college.
This resulted in me leaving Preston and successfully obtaining a Diploma at Colchester Institute in Sports Management. Returning to the North West on completion of my studies, with no formal maths or English qualifications I struggled to find employment whilst continuing to play semi-professional football at various clubs.
Stumbling across a local newspaper article on the Army, which highlighted their strap line of “Be the Best”, within a matter of weeks I found myself narrowly scraping through the army entry test and being attested into the Kings Regiment.
Initially I was posted to London to join my regiment who were engaged in public duties at this time. This involved ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, along with other royal sites.
During my service I completed operational tours such as Northern Ireland and was privileged to travel to Belize in central America for jungle warfare training, which was an amazing experience.
As a keen sportsman I was honoured to have represented both my regiment and the infantry at a number of sports including football, basketball and kayaking. Some of my most memorable sporting memories were representing the infantry within the Army Ski Championships in France and being part of a regimental Army Boxing Champion team in 2003. In between operational commitments and competing at sports, as an army physical training instructor I took great pride (and pleasure) also keeping others in shape.
During my 13 years army service I successfully reached the rank of platoon sergeant, completing my final few years as a recruiter within Manchester’s Armed Forces careers office. It was in this role that I came into regular contact with the police, often attending the same recruitment events and building good friendships with serving police officers. It was these contacts and friendships that stimulated my interest of viewing the police as a career option, something which I had never previously considered.
With the support and guidance from the connections I had established within the police, in 2005 I eventually submitted a successful application, leaving the Army in the September and proudly joining Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in January 2006.
Initially fearful about leaving the Army, compounded with my poor academic qualifications, it wasn’t long until I realised that I had plenty of transferable skills to offer policing.
The foundation built within the military has pathed the way to a successful policing career thus far, affording me opportunities such as the following:
- almost immediately after finishing my two-year compulsory probation period in 2009 I successfully applied for a career as a detective within GMP’s Serious Crime Division
- working within serious crime I have worked in several detective roles, including within GMP’s Force Dedicated Surveillance Unit and Force Drugs Unit. In 2018 I took over as detective inspector in the Force Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Unit
- my passion for training has provided me opportunities to successfully lead on two national graduate training programmes and lead on the UK’s first police cadet international exchange programme in Africa
- as temporary chief inspector I have led operational uniform training and also detective training as tactical lead within GMP’s Training School
- wanting to expand my leadership and policing experiences earlier this year I left GMP after 15 years’ service, proudly joining Kent Police as chief inspector with the responsibly of District Commander for Dartford and Gravesham
I have long since swapped my green uniform for a blue uniform, I am still focused on “Being the Best” and providing a first-class service to the people I serve and protect.
I aspire to go as far as I possibly can within policing, fully conscious that there has only ever been one black chief constable, who also happened to have served within Kent Police.
On reflection I strongly feel that it was the knowledge, leadership skills and self-confidence imparted on me within the military that have contributed to my seamless transition and ability to achieve success within the multitude of policing roles and ranks.
Therefore on further reflection, over the past 29 years of public service it is only the colour of my uniform that has actually changed, and as appose to actually playing football I now get my pleasure through watching Liverpool and England….”Come on England!”