Ahead of Armed Forces Day this Saturday 24 June, Hertfordshire Constabulary would like to #SaluteOurForces – and our armed forces veterans-turned-police officers.
With a number of former military personnel serving as police officers, we’re reaching out to those who are leaving shortly or those already pounding Civvy Street to say our police family is waiting with open arms.
Army veteran, Sgt Andrew Thomas, known as Tommo, has been a police officer with Herts since 2017. Tommo spent a decade in the Infantry, serving overseas in Iraq, Canada, the Falklands and Germany, as well as in the UK.
“I love being a police officer,” he said. “It’s the perfect job for someone coming out of the Army, where you’re helping people on a global scale, moving to helping people at a local level, where you can actually see the difference you’re making every day.”
He said: “I was kicked out of every secondary school I went to, I was a troubled kid, in care for a long time living in London and one day I was arrested in Watford for riding a motorbike a friend had stolen. That was a turning point for me.
“The cop who arrested me drove me home, gave me a child caution and a big talking to! He told me how he’d been in the Army for 20-odd years and it was like he was challenging me: could I do it? The next day I applied and the rest is history. I was then moulded by the Army, with a strong moral code, and later I passed all my exams.”
Tommo, 35, left the Army after 10 years and worked in recruitment in the City but felt something was missing and didn't like being sat behind a desk all the time. He started with Hertfordshire as a Special Constable and then joined as a police officer.
While he doesn’t know the Herts officer who set him on the right path all those years ago, father-of-three Tommo has tried to ‘pass it on’ during his time. “Yes, I have tried to help some troubled kids,” he smiled. “Often, they are good kids at heart and just need something to look forward to so I'll say: ‘Stay out of trouble and I’ll take you out in the police car’, and they do, it’s great. I’ve had to work hard to get where I am and I encourage others to do the same.”
Tommo, who is currently working in our Positive Action recruitment team, was previously on Intervention in St Albans, responding to 999 calls and incidents.
“I chose Herts because I’d been a Special here and I loved it and I still do. I loved the adrenalin of intervention with the mix of city and countryside and now I have an important role encouraging others to join policing and change someone’s life.”
We’re currently taking applications for different police officer training courses, with something to suit everyone.
“We have a number of armed forces veterans already working as police officers in Herts and would encourage others to join us because we know that ex-military service personnel make fantastic police officers,” said Superintendent Anna Wright, from our Workforce Development team.
“When you join Herts police, you join a caring organisation offering a life of camaraderie and teamwork. Ex-armed services personnel already have confidence, commitment, good fitness levels, and enjoy making a difference – which is what police officers do every shift. The training they’ve already had means they’re adaptable, dedicated and ready to work under pressure.”
We provide mentors to former armed services personnel looking to join our police service through our military buddy scheme.