We’ve seen programmes like “Line of Duty” or “CSI”, but is working in the police quite as it appears on TV. The Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police, Pete Goodman shares a day in his life.
I’ve been in the police for 30 years and in my current role of Chief Constable for the last year.
I did a degree in English Literature at Leeds University and after I’d finished, I got a job working for Commercial Union, but I didn’t enjoy it and left after 3 weeks. I ended up working for a local builder as a brickie’s labourer and I really enjoyed it. I think it was being outside in the fresh air. I decided that I wanted to do something else, but it needed to be something that involved me being outside.
I decided on becoming a Police Officer, because I knew my family and friends would be horrified and it felt like a good decision.
My police career began as a beat officer in Hyson Green, which is a challenging area of Nottingham. I dealt with crime and drove a response car. After two years, I became a DC and worked on the burglary squad, still within Nottingham.
I stayed in Nottinghamshire until I became Detective Chief Inspector and then I moved to the West Midlands to become Divisional Commander for Central Birmingham. I did this role for three years and I loved it. I got to police the whole of the city centre, and it involved footballing incidents, gang warfare and firearms. It was a very varied job.
I then moved to Derbyshire Police to be Assistant Chief Constable for crime and operations. I did this for two years before I moved to work with the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, which dealt with murders and covert operations for the five forces of the East Midlands.
Being Chief Constable, there’s no such thing as a typical day, although I try and be in the office for 7.30am and home for 5.30pm. My days are incredibly varied. Today, for example, I’ve been in London for meetings and I normally spend at least one day a week there.
There’s also some days where I have to do media interviews. I spend time with people within the organisation, speaking with staff on the frontline and finding out about the challenges that different departments face. There’s also policy stuff and partnership meetings and setting the direction of the organisation. I’m responsible for policing Derbyshire and setting the culture of the organisation and organising budgets.
I also lead nationally on cyber crime.
The best thing about my job is the huge sense of satisfaction from doing what we do and knowing that we protect the most vulnerable in society, stopping bad people doing bad things. Derbyshire is considered by HMICFRS to be one of the best forces in the country.
There have been a number of highlights throughout my career. I’m incredibly proud of being the Chief Constable of Derbyshire as it’s the only place I wanted to be the Chief of.
Four years ago, I got to take my family to Buckingham Palace to receive the Queen’s Policing Medal, and received this from the Queen herself. Getting to share that experience with my family was incredible.
For anyone thinking of joining the police, I’d say that if you want a varied, exciting career, where there’s a multitude of things you can do, then this is the career for you. If you want to get rich then look elsewhere! Unless you’re sure you want to do it, it can be really hard, unless you have a genuine interest in public service.
Before I joined the police, I wish someone had pointed out that I look stupid in a police helmet….
If you’re interested in joining the police, then you can find out more about the sort of careers they have on offer by visiting their website.