I am currently the senior police officer at RAF Alconbury which is one of several RAF bases that are home to United States visiting forces, and their families. My days are varied and every week brings something new to deal with or to find out, but that’s part of the challenge and why I enjoy it!
I’m in charge of a small complement of MDP responsible for Counter Terrorism patrols around the bases and the married quarters. As the only supervisor based here, I can be doing the station rosters one minute and in a meeting the next with military officers discussing how the MDP can meet their security needs. Everything to do with my station will land on my desk at some point, be that the welfare needs of my officers, liaising with home office police on policies, attending threat working groups with the US military or a general query from someone on site. I’m also fully qualified as an ASV officer and can find myself stepping in to cover patrols at short notice if I need to. Everyday really is a new challenge and this role has given me a lot more responsibility than my last, allowing me to develop new skills which I hope will benefit me when I next look for promotion.
I joined the MDP in 2005 and spent my first 5 years after leaving the training school at AWE Aldermaston. The role there was a specific nuclear guarding role which gave me a good grounding, but I wanted to take on more responsibility and worked towards my sergeant exams. In 2010 I moved to AWE Burghfield on promotion. This was my first supervisory role, but I got support from my supervisors and the chance to complete courses such as Leadership and Management, and Operational Firearms Commander to help develop the skills I would need. In 2012 I was ready for my next challenge and completed a tour of Afghanistan working with the female Afghan Police. My role out there involved training the females, trying to promote their role and recruitment. It came with its own challenges, such as language barriers, different customs and living in a tent for 6 months with 5 other women! But the experience was fantastic. After spending 4 years at AWE Burghfield as a sergeant in a large station, I was looking to get experience in a non nuclear station and was lucky enough to get my current post at Alconbury.
What I love about the MDP is that there are many different areas in locations around the country to specialise. For me I’m interested in continuing with promotion, but I’ve seen many colleagues follow their interests and pursue careers with the dog section, marine units as well as others. You need to be prepared to work hard and put the effort in, but there are some great opportunities out there if you want them.