Assessor PC Gary Bentley became a Positive Action mentor for police officer hopefuls during the first lockdown because he wanted to help people understand what was required of them, the rigours of the job and to ensure they knew what the job entailed.
Put simply, he says he is proud to be a police officer and wants to instil that same pride in new recruits.
“It is the best job,” he said.
“This is a profession you can take real pride in, it’s an amazing job, there’s no other job like it. Everyday police officers and staff make a difference to others’ lives, every day is different.
You don’t know where you are going to be, who or what you are going to be dealing with and you will be making decisions to investigate crime and protect and safeguard those you are dealing with. When bad things happen, police officers are the ones who run towards the danger, and I think that sometimes gets forgotten.”
Gary has worked for the force for 22 years having spent eight and a half years with intervention before joining the Learning and Development assessment teams.
He has been chair of the Hertfordshire Christian Police Association for over two years and his other roles include being a mental health wellbeing champion, a LGBTQ+ liaison officer and working with the Police Support Unit (PSU) since 2005.
In recent years, the force has offered mentors through our Positive Action team, supporting candidates from under-represented groups, those with protected characteristics (opens in a new window), as we look to have a more diverse workforce that reflects the communities we protect and serve.
Gary loves helping new recruits to develop into good police officers: “I do enjoy helping mentees. Obviously, it’s all had to be on the phone or over Teams because of the pandemic, but I generally give an hour-long initial meeting then a monthly catch up and they just know I’m there at the end of a phone or on email if they have any questions or concerns.”
Gary is also an interviewer, interviewing prospective police officers on a regular basis. “When it comes to the interviews, it’s clear to me that it’s all about preparation, and mentors can give their mentees insight so they’re really clear on their motivations, consider what they should be thinking about saying and to show the real ‘them’.”
Trainee PC Anja Meredith said mentor Gary made all the difference to her bid to become an officer: “I found Gary’s help during the recruitment process invaluable. We had a long Teams call all about the interview, what to expect, how I should prepare and the course structure. This all helped me get into the organisation smoothly, and it was nice to have a little background knowledge on what to expect once training had started.”
Through our ‘Positive Action’ scheme, Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to building relationships with under-represented groups and encouraging them to join our policing family. For more information and support visit Herts police Diversity (opens in new window)