Policing graduates hit the streets around the town
Ten new police officers are patrolling the streets of Northamptonshire, before they’ve officially graduated from the University of Northampton.
The ten students have successfully completed their three-year Professional Policing degree at the University of Northampton, which blends academic studies with practical experience of life in the police service.
Speaking about her time studying at the University of Northampton, Holly Campbell, one of the ten officers to join Northamptonshire Police, said: “I always knew I wanted a career in the criminal justice field. After a gap year, I began researching university options.
“I was really impressed by the teaching team at Northampton, they all have frontline policing experience, or have worked within the criminal justice system, they’re extremely knowledgeable about what it means to make the commitment to be a police officer. This, and the practical policing experience as part of the course, made me realise the policing degree at Northampton was for me.”
As well as hitting the books for their academic studies, students at the University of Northampton have periods of hands-on training placements with Northamptonshire Police, as well as the opportunity to join the Special Constabulary in Northampton as volunteer officers while they study.
Chief Officer for the Special Constabulary, Mike Maywood, said: “The dedication and commitment shown by the students to get to this level is a real credit to the officers.
“Not only have they attended university, but have also committed thousands of hours of service to gain practical experience, the Specials’ loss is most certainly the Force’s gain.”
Talking about this practical experience, Holly said: “On my police placements, I joined Response Officers covering the North on the county. It was a valuable experience to understand the scale and variety of incidents the police respond to, and how best to apply the theory learnt to each scenario. These placements, and my time as a Special inspired me, I loved the job and I knew I wanted to apply to be a full-time officer.”
Although Holly and her fellow students have completed their studies, they missed out on the chance to don a cap and gown for formal graduation ceremonies, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Reflecting on finishing University and starting her job with Northamptonshire Police during a period of national lockdown, Holly said: “It was really odd to finish university this year. Instead of spending hours in the library finishing up assignments and planning end of year celebrations, I was at home, in lockdown.
“I’m looking forward to officially graduating, when we can safely do it, and seeing everyone again tor how they’re finding life on the frontline in police services across the country.
“One big benefit to starting as a police officer in a global pandemic has been the ability to be out on foot patrol more. I’ve had the chance to be more visible in my area and talk to members of the public who might normally not be around.”