Jabeen Khattak - Force Control Room Call Handler
My name is Jabeen and I’ve been an employee of Kent Police now for three years as a contact handler answering 999/101 calls and am also trained in Live Chat. Prior to this I was working as a support worker/team leader in a care home for almost 15 years and then briefly as a medical receptionist at a local doctor’s surgery. I felt I needed to challenge myself more and step out of my comfort zone. I can say without a doubt joining Kent Police was the best career move I’ve made.
As I was a bit rusty around interviews and assessment processes and wasn’t as they say too “tech savvy” as many these days are, I decided to attend a workshop in Bluewater before applying. I was brave enough to have an on the spot interview with an Inspector there and to my delight and shortly after, I received an email that I had got to the next stage. All the staff at the workshop were so welcoming it motivated me even more to be part of the team! Apart from other research, I made sure I practised on my typing skills and speed before the further assessment, which was definitely a great help and I managed to pass.
I started my nine weeks training in July 2018 and found all the training staff very supportive. They not only improved my strengths but also worked on my weaknesses and helped me overcome them. In time my confidence grew considerably, and I stopped doubting myself and before I knew it, I was already six months into my new role and had already achieved the competency standard desired for a contact handler. I love my role within the control room but luckily my other skills were also identified by senior staff around me which encouraged my lateral development.
I grew an interest for promoting awareness in diversity and inclusion within the force and participated in recruitment events to attract the public from all walks of life, identifying with a protected characteristic or intersectionality. I am currently a single point of contact for diversity and inclusion and am very keen in making a difference around this and to support Kent Police moving forward. Due to my passion and drive I was also elected as an Executive and REPS lead for the Race Equality Network which is a support group that provides guidance, support and advice to Black , Asian and Minority ethnic members. I also got the opportunity to apply for an attachment in March 2021 to work alongside the Positive Action team for a month which was very beneficial and I’m attempting to apply what I’ve learnt from them into the control room.
I have also gained a few months experience as a cadet leader and to see the younger generation so motivated was very inspiring.
As part of the Asian ethnic community I’m very proud to have been part of recruitment events and work as a recruitment ambassador and was asked to be one of the inspirational speakers on the panel last year at a Black History month event. I was humbled at the opportunity and also the praise I received from many including the Chief Constable.
In the near future I will also be assisting the Schools Team to promote Kent Police roles in local schools which is an exciting new project for me.
Recognition is also very important for further development and I was very lucky to receive runner up in the FCIR annual awards in 2019 for New Achiever and then went on to be shortlisted in the final 34 candidates from 400 across 80 organisations for the APD National Control Room Awards 2020 and received a finalist award.
I have recently undergone a coaching training course which means that I will have the opportunity to coach new recruits in the latter stage of their training before they become “live” on the floor. I’m looking forward to this as I believe I have the patience and understanding to bring out the best in them. It also goes to show that with the right mindset anything is possible as I remember how nervous I was when I first started! Kent Police offer a variety of training courses and attachments to those who are keen to further develop both internally and externally. I attended a confidence workshop in July 2021 to help me with my presentation and PowerPoint skills which I found very beneficial and hopefully will open more doors for me.
In June 2021 I had the amazing opportunity of being on the DEI Panel for the Chief Inspector board. This is an experience I won’t be forgetting anytime soon, and it made me realise even more just why diversity and inclusion is so important internally and externally.
I hope my personal story inspires others who maybe thinking of applying for a role in Kent Police as it truly is an outstanding force that sets no boundaries in anyone’s aspirations or creativity and will bring out the best in you.
Thanks for reading.