Ashlee is one of our Special Constables – volunteers who give up their spare time to become part-time police officers with the same powers as full-time regular officers – carrying out her policing duties alongside her role as an Operations Manager for a fire protection company. Ashlee talks about her journey and why being a Special Constable is so important to her.
Making a positive difference to others
I saw an advert on Facebook asking if I had 16 hours spare a month to make a difference to the community. I did; I hadn't even know there was such a role within the Police, but it really appealed to me. I applied, completed the training, and joined as a Special Constable with Northamptonshire Police in June 2019.
As a Special I can work with different teams and partake in different operations but generally choose to work on response. This can send me to a huge variety of jobs from assaults, domestic incidents, burglaries, missing persons, mental health issues, no two shifts are ever the same (even though my Mum messages me before every shift and tells me not to get out of the car!)
Being a Special can be so rewarding but my favourite aspect is assisting those who are vulnerable and in need of help and feel they have lost their way. Being able to sit down with a person who is struggling and needs someone to talk to for whatever reason and offer them options and support can be invaluable to some. I think a job that I went to that will always stick with me, was a missing person who thought they were a burden to their loved ones. I was part of the search team and on locating them we sat and spoke for a while about what they had been through and that they had been waiting for someone to reach out to them. The best part about this job was being able to safely return them to their family and know that I had helped in some small part to support them during such a difficult time.
It has taught me a lot about myself
Being a Constable in any capacity can be very hard work at times. It has taught me a lot about myself and how to deal with others. I feel I have become more resilient, patient and considerate since joining. It is a role that sometimes you wonder if you are good enough to do, but if you put the time and effort in you will get so much from it and wonder why you didn’t join a long time ago!
If you want a break from ‘normal’ life and routine, you have the time to train and put the hours in every month and are passionate about helping the community, then maybe being a Special Constable is for you.
I love being a Special Constable, I think it is possibly the best thing that I have ever done!
What the future looks like?
In my role I would love to be able to help other Specials whether already joined or new recruits. I know how nerve racking it can be and having a point of contact who is already in the same shoes and knows the struggles you can face can be like having a weight lifted off your shoulders.