Specialising as a special
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:00 AM
I'm interested in becoming a special although I've got a couple of questions I'd like answering if possible.
Firstly, what do regulars think of specials? Are they thought of as equals? I don't mean this to sound derogatory its just that one of my friends dad is a regular and he doesn't like specials a great deal...
Secondly, given time can a special specialise in areas such as dogs, riot control (or crowd control or whatever the politically correct term is!!) or firearms? I would love to specialise in firearms but not sure if this is open to specials....
Thanks in advance for your help!
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:06 AM
With regard to specialising it's pretty much a no. Different forces will of course have different policies but as far as I know it's expected that as a Special you will stick to SNT (neighbourhood policing, or a specific force equivalent) or Response (999/Grade A calls etc.)
In my force there are options to occasionally crew up with Traffic, Dogs, BTP mutual aid and the Licensing Team but this is as a guest to make up numbers/gain insight and experience. As I said, your role as a Special is mainly in the community and as such should be your main reason for joining. If that is the case then go for it but if you want shoot outs, car chases and all out action, the Specials may not be the route for you.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:37 AM
The way we work around this in my station is that you plan ahead via dutysheet, and check the regulars rota so you work your shifts around who you want to work with and when. No point working when you won't be appreciated or won't get the opportunity to learn.
In regards to specialising, it is difficult for regulars to join many specialist teams and takes a lot of time and training that most specials cannot commit to so would not qualify to be able to join these departments. Also many forces do not allow specials to join teams other than neighbourhood policing teams.
I have heard of some regulars who have retired, being able to join as specials and stay in their specialist roles.
In my force there are a few opportunities, we have recently started a rural crime unit which is headed by a chief inspector and assisted by a special sergeant. There are a few regulars and a few specials who work mainly on this team. Also we work quite often with Traffic, and I believe some specials can drive the RPU vehicles but cannot respond in them.
Lots of things differ from force to force and one of the best things to do would be ask in the force specific area for your local force... there is so much more to policing than having a gun, taser or dog. The officers that carry these have spent years learning the ropes and gaining the skills they need to be good police officers and then to specialise. If all you want is to specialise in something 'cool' then I would advise you seriously rethink about the specials, because policing is hard at times and can be very stressful but very rewarding.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:40 AM
I was asked if I wanted to do a 6-month attachment to the Pro-Active team not long back.
I know in another force there have been specials who mainly go out with traffic, but to double crew-they haven't done the driving courses.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:46 AM
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:13 PM
Edited by David, 15 April 2012 - 12:22 PM.
Formatting removed for ease of reading
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:50 PM
I am in the fortunate position that most specialists departments now know me, and are happy to have me along for a few shifts if i ask. granted a lot of it is due to being the right place at the right time and maybe a bit of fate, but alot of it is through me helping them out at short notice. I've got an open invite from traffic, SB, what our force calls 'Tasking' and the Enhanced Policing Team (EPT) are always welcoming to me,
I'm still to take marine section up on their offer of a few duties.
I'm not prepared to commit to working on a permanent attachment to any of them as I love my role as a supervisor and all rounder at my station, however, it is a nice feeling knowing if I fancy a bit of respite a quick email somewhere can get me something 'interesting' (not that general policing is every anything but interesting)
From your perspective as wanting to become a reg, it would probably be a better plan, as it would give you a good insight into what different branches do.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:41 PM
As for specialisms, West Mids offer three currently, although Im sure some swat will enjoy correcting me lol
They are, Safer Travel Team (Working on the Bus Network), Airport (Working in an airport!) and CMPG (Central Motorway Policing Group). Not a bad selection in my opinion.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:48 PM
We've got quite a few in mine, boats, traffic, public order, search, lots of response drivers, the traffic types have lots of courses and then all the specialist crime types but they tend to bring over more of their day job skills.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:41 PM
This goes along with the current understanding that IMU (responce), NAT (Neighbourhood Action Team), Prisioner Transport, Neighbourhood Policing, Football and Safer Nights (Night clubs hi-vis patrols) is also available to those within my division either as standard or as a staffing/duty request.
Dogs and the Helicopter are options if people would like to request a shadowing duty.
For the main, you can be non-independent for these duties, so good to get experience up. It always helps however if you have a decent grasp of certain basics first however for some. This will be explained by the older hands.
Police work is excting and fulfilling at times, it is also very boring and task orientated on others, joining a specialist team is not the way to 'jazz' up a job, as some units/tasks create a vast amount more paper work than others.
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