Why did you join the control room?
I have always had an interest in West Yorkshire Police due to my Mother and Step-Father both being employee’s since I was around 10 years old.
Having spent many days at Carr Gate mounted section as a child with my Step-Father I knew early on at some point I wanted to be a police officer.
Heading into college I completed higher level Uniformed Public Services, and on the day I left at 18 I started my role within the Customer Contact Centre for West Yorkshire Police. I thought this would be a great leaning opportunity before trying to apply for officer. 4 Years later and several different roles within the CCC, I was approached by a supervisor in the Force Command Hub and asked if I would consider / had any interest in leaning to dispatch. I took this opportunity and have not looked back.
I realised in dispatching I could make a difference, challenge myself and learn new skills.
Tell us what is like working in an emergency control room?
It’s a very fast paced and at time stressful environment, as we are responsible for the running of specialist resources across the force. The thing I love is how diverse each day is, we never know what the next incident may be from RTC’s, broken down vehicles, robberies or a firearms incident.
Time always seems to slip away from us, a 10 hour shift can go within a blink of an eye.
The thing I love is how diverse each day is, we never know what the next incident may be from RTC’s, broken down vehicles, robberies or a firearms incident.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Being able to make a difference.I love being able to help members of the public in their hour of need, from sending officers to assist when they have been involved in an RTC to recovering stolen vehicles taken in burglaries and so much more. I’m a big fan of ANPR because of how rewarding and fast pace this is. The sense of achievement I get within myself when officers get a positive result due to research into an ANPR hit I have conducted which can result in arrests, cautions and vehicle seizures.
One of the reasons I set up our Force Command Hub Twitter account was to showcase us as dispatchers and show the public what we do day to day. Sometimes I feel the public don’t realise the impact / part dispatchers play in incidents as we are the ones behind the radio, the voices in officer’s ears passing them information. We are not seen or heard by members of the public and sometimes the only recognition for our part in an incident is from each other / twitter.
What makes your job challenging and how do you overcome this?
Due to the fact we dispatch specialist resources, incidents in which we deal with can be challenging. From assisting the Force Duty Officer with firearms incidents, to recording all information when a fail to stop comes in, to dealing with serious RTC’s and other incidents all while trying to keep several channels running and ensuring units are dispatched appropriate / timely to requests from district control rooms.
This is when our teamwork really kicks in and we lean on each other for support to help overcome the stress.
What does International Control Room Week mean to you and the team?
It’s a chance to share the hard work we do and give the public and insight into the world of the emergency control rooms. A chance to celebrate our colleagues across West Yorkshire, but also other forces / agencies who share the same stress and demand but carry on making a difference behind the scenes.