Volunteer for something
‘Special’ in 2017
As December is drawing to a close and with 2017 on the very near
horizon, many people have already made their New Year’s
resolutions. If you haven’t yet decided what your resolutions
should be, why not consider making a difference in your community
by joining Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary?
Become a volunteer police officer (Special Constable) with
Hertfordshire Constabulary and you could kick off your year by
doing something rewarding and exciting while developing a wide
range of skills – all through dedicating at least 16 hours per
Recruitment of Special Constables
Hertfordshire Constabulary is actively recruiting Special
Constables and is looking for motivated team players wanting a
challenge. Special Constables have full police powers,
uniform and protective equipment and work alongside the regular
Special Constables get involved in all areas of frontline
policing - from high visibility patrols around pubs and clubs at
the weekend and being called to assist at the scene of a road
traffic collision or burglary to arresting offenders or reassuring
and advising residents after a crime has occurred.
Aside from ‘response’ or local Safer Neighbourhood policing,
there are constantly evolving opportunities to work within
specialist policing environments, such as the investigation of
child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and prisoner
processing. Special Constables with specialist IT knowledge
also work alongside police officers and staff who manage registered
Those with an interest or expertise in the countryside and rural
issues can become Rural Special Constables who are dedicated to the
needs of rural communities. They work alongside our Rural
Operation Support Team (ROST) and local police Safer Neighbourhood
Teams investigating heritage crime or wildlife offences, tackling
hare coursing or poaching, to dealing with fly-tipping or the theft
of heating oil.
Acting Inspector Debbie Jacyna, Special Constabulary Development
Manager, said: “The opportunity to gain experience in specialist
departments, at hours and dates to suit you, is uniquely available
to Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary. We are keen to
utilise specialist skills or foreign languages that officers have
by deploying into the relevant department, as well as assisting
with neighbourhood policing.”
Once initial training is complete, Specials are coached by regular
officers to complete their Police Action Checklists and are then
deemed fit for independent patrol. On average this can take
around 12 months.
If you would like more information on becoming a Special
Constable, visit www.hertspolicecareers.co.uk
and click on ‘apply online’ or browse the pages to find out
David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire,
said: “Specials play a vital role in keeping the county safe and I
am keen to welcome as many as possible into the Force.
“In my new Community Safety and Criminal justice plan for
Hertfordshire I outline how I am aiming for more people, like the
Special Constables, to get involved and to play their part in
helping to keep crime low in the county. I would therefore
encourage anyone looking for a new challenge in 2017 to consider
becoming a Special Constable.”
So, if you are 18 or over, can multi-task, have great
interpersonal skills and want to give something back to the
community for at least 16 hours a month in your free time, why
don’t you make a positive change for 2017 that will make a real
difference and become a Special Constable or Rural Special
Hertfordshire case studies
Grace Menhinick – Special Constable, Bishop’s
Menhinick has been a Special Constable for over four years and is
based in Bishop’s Stortford, East Herts. Grace also works for
Hertfordshire Constabulary in her day job within the Major Crime
Unit and previously worked as a detention officer within custody
suites at police stations in Hertfordshire.
Grace first joined the Special Constabulary while she was
studying at university and used her experiences to help support her
degree in Crime and Investigative Studies.
The hours she undertakes as a Special Constable vary each month
due to the demands of her day job, but Grace’s contribution ranges
from 20 to 70 hours each month. She is also able to benefit from
the Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme, as Hertfordshire
Constabulary gives her eight hours out of her day job each month to
conduct duties as a Special. For further information about ESP,
please click on the following link:
Special Constabulary ESP.
Special Constables have the opportunity to work alongside
different departments and Grace has taken advantage of these
opportunities. She has assisted the rural team, spent a day with
the dog unit and completed suspect interview training.
Grace said: “I became a Special Constable for a number of
reasons; I wanted to help look after and protect a community,
tackle crime and disorder and support victims of crime. I enjoy the
team work and team spirit. I like the flexibility of choosing when
to put my uniform on and work as a Special. It is a job like no
other. There are difficult moments but overall it is an amazing
Zak Watson – Special Constable, Hitchin
Zak Watson has been a Special Constable for just over a year and
is based at Hitchin Police Station. Working as an assistant manager
in retail, Zak is used to working alongside and supporting members
of the public in an often demanding role.
Before joining the Special Constabulary, Zak was a volunteer
police cadet in North Herts. He used his time as a cadet to support
his application to the Special Constabulary and already had some
policing knowledge such as cautions, how to search an offender and
how to deal with a road traffic collision.
Zak regularly dedicates 60 hours per month as a Special
Constable but has previously been able to offer up to 80 hours,
depending on his other commitments.
Zak said: “The main thing I like about being a Special Constable
is the variety of work you can get involved in – no two shifts are
ever the same.
“Being a Special has given me a different outlook on life and
the amount of support I receive from fellow Specials and regular
officers is amazing.
“For anyone considering joining the Special Constabulary, I
would tell them to do it. You won’t regret it and it is one of the
most rewarding things you can do.”
Alex Whittle – Special Constable, Hemel
Alex Whittle has been a Special Constable for six
years and is currently an Acting Special Sergeant based at Hemel
Hempstead Police Station. Employed full time as a civil
servant, Alex works a shift pattern which gives him the flexibility
to be involved in variety of duties as a Special.
Alex originally joined the Special Constabulary as he had
aspirations to join the police as a paid officer, but as his day
job took another turn he is now content with being a volunteer
Alex’s employer also allows him six paid days a year to conduct
duties as a Special through the Employer Supported Policing (ESP)
scheme. For further information about ESP, please click on the
following link: Special Constabulary ESP
On average Alex is able to work 40 hours a month as a Special
but this is dependent on his other commitments. Alex said: “I like
the skills that being a Special Constable has given me; I am much
more confident now than I was before I joined.
“I was the first Special Constable in Hertfordshire to complete
a response driving course which means that I can make use of the
blue lights and sirens to attend incidents.
“Joining the Special Constabulary will be the most rewarding
decision that you will ever make. All you have to give is 16 or
more hours per month and you will be rewarded with a whole new
skill set that is maintained by regular training, a peer group that
looks out for you and is always on hand to help, and the feeling
that you are making a difference in your community.”
Andrew Lobel – Special Inspector, Stevenage
Andrew Lobel joined the Special Constabulary in 2006 and has
previously worked alongside specialist teams such as the ANPR
(Automatic Number Plate Recognition) Team. He is now a Special
Inspector on the emergency response team based at Stevenage Police
In his day job, Andrew is head of a group of high tech companies
in London. Skills such as leadership, decisiveness, confidence and
versatility are easily transferred from Andrew’s paid employment to
his duties as a Special Constable.
Andrew dedicates an average of 70 hours per month to the Special
Constabulary. To ensure he has time to complete his duties, Andrew
dedicates specific days and times throughout the month to fit in
with his job and home life.
Andrew said: “Many of the special skills I use at work I'm able
to bring into policing and, likewise, I continue to develop skills
in the police service which complement and enhance my day job.
“I've developed a defined sense in understanding different
people in different situations. This has come not just from
speaking with people on the outside, but also working and speaking
with people within our policing family. This is one of my most
favoured skills that I've developed.
“If you're looking for something which will challenge you,
develop you - where every day will be different, then come and talk
to us. I have yet to meet a Special Constable who regrets
Andy Kowalski – Special Sergeant,
Andy Kowalski has been a Special for over 12 years.
He is currently serving as a Special Sergeant based at
Rickmansworth Police Station.
In his day job Andy works full time as an Information Systems
Manager for a records management company. As his job requires him
to work Monday to Friday, Andy carries out most of his Special
Constabulary duties on a Friday evening and at the weekend.
Andy dedicates an average of 35 hours each month to the Special
Constabulary which are mainly made up of mobile patrol duties with
another volunteer police officer.
Andy said: “The role of a Special Constable takes me away from
the stresses and worries of running a business. It is rewarding and
the different environment allows me to get to know both young and
old in the community. I enjoy myself every time I put the uniform
on and do the job.
“For anyone considering becoming a Special Constable, I would
encourage them to attend one of the Information Evenings to find
out more about the role, talk to serving Specials and understand
the commitment required.”
To find out when the next
information evening is, click here.
Charlie Marshall – Special Constable, St
Charlie Marshall has been a Special Constable for ten months and
is based at St Albans Police Station. He has aspirations to join
Hertfordshire Constabulary as a regular police officer and made the
decision to join as a Special Constable to see what life on the
front line is like.
In his day job, Charlie works part time as a butcher and
fishmonger. This public facing role means that he regularly
interacts with members of the public and strives to deliver a
professional service. Charlie is able to utilise customer
service skills learnt in his day job to assist with his voluntary
role as a Special Constable.
Charlie has volunteered over 450 hours as a Special in the last
ten months and his monthly hours range from 25 to 70, dependant on
Charlie said: “The biggest reward I have gained from being a
Special Constable is going home knowing I have helped people. Just
putting some hours aside every month to help your community will
make a huge difference to a lot of people’s lives.
“The teamwork and friendships that you build are very strong and
everyone looks out for one another. Joining the Specials has
allowed me to gain so many life skills in such a short amount of
time and it is the best thing I have ever done.”
Daniel Cook – Special Constable, Hatfield
Cook has been a Special Constable for eight months and is based at
Hatfield Police Station. Daniel is currently a full time student at
the University of Hertfordshire studying for a degree in
Mathematics. He also works part time as a sales assistant.
As the hours are so flexible, Daniel is easily able to perform
his Special Constable duties around his studies and part-time
employment. He is able to commit a minimum of 50 hours per month to
being a Special, but these increase over the summer months while he
is not studying.
Daniel said: “Being a Special has added an extra dimension to my
life. I have seen and dealt with people from all walks of life,
some at their lowest points. It has opened my eyes to the world we
live in and I believe I have grown more in the past eight months
than I had in the previous 20 years.
“One minute I can be sitting at a desk, the next I’m weaving in
and out of traffic on blue lights heading towards someone that
desperately needs help. I would advise anyone considering taking on
the role of Special Constable to go for it. There is nothing more
satisfying than knowing you have helped someone, or even saved
Simon Duncan – Special Sergeant, Watford
Simon Duncan is a Special Sergeant based at Watford Police
Station and has been in the Special Constabulary for seven years.
Whilst living in America, Simon was a volunteer fire fighter and
emergency medical technician. When he and his wife returned to the
UK, Simon chose to join Hertfordshire’s Special
In his day job Simon works as a chief financial officer for a
solar energy company. This role mainly involves working with legal
documents and numbers, whereas being a Special requires making
on-the-spot decisions and interacting with members of the
Simon’s desire to make use of different skills from his paid
role is what attracted him to the Special Constabulary. On average
Simon volunteers over 40 hours per month as a Special and has
recently taken part in a two week response driving course.
Simon said: “I thought at 49 I was too old to become a Special
Constable but that definitely was not the case. As an
experienced Special you get sent to the same calls as a regular
officer which includes burglaries, missing people, assaults and
road traffic collisions. The role is never boring and I would urge
anyone considering it to give it a go.”
Steven Curran – Special Constable,
Curran has been a Special Constable for a year and is based at
Cheshunt Police Station. Good communication, decision making and
leadership skills are required to be a Special Constable. As CEO of
the VioVet Group, Steven is able to transfer these skills from his
full-time role and as a volunteer police officer.
Steven volunteers on average 80 hours per month as a Special
Constable and gets involved in a range of duties including public
order, community engagement and assisting with the local volunteer
police cadet group.
Being a special Constable allows Steven to meet and help a wide
range of people from his local community. Steven said: “Being a
police officer is an ever evolving, community focused role. You are
a first responder, a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to and in
some cases a friend to lend an ear – that is what makes it
“Being a Special Constable will give you skills you never knew
you needed and create a greater meaning in your life. You will have
the ability to change someone’s life, maybe not on your first day,
but it will happen.”