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PC Edward Walker is loving life at West Yorkshire Police

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Not so long ago Police Constable Edward Walker aka Eddy set off on his travels with the support of Durham Constabulary.

Since then there has been no stopping him as he managed to stop off at Northumbria Police, Cleveland Police & now he is taking West Yorkshire Police by storm.

Eddy is the one teddy everyone wants to get their hands on within the social media world of policing. He is causing so much excitement within the world of Twitter and it is truly fantastic.

Best of all Eddy set off on his travels for the sole purpose of raising awareness and donations for COPS a UK charity.

Eddy has already made a name for himself after getting a Tweet from non-other than Newcastle United Football Club wishing him luck after he arrived at ST James Park.

https://twitter.com/NUFC/status/912614181291139072

While Eddy was at ST James Park he managed to spend some valuable days with the Northumbria Police Central engagement team when he attended a disability, diversity and inclusion. While here they took great care of him and taught him the importance of Equality and being you is not a crime.

He spent some time with a lovely ex-police officer named June who shared her policing photo from 1964. Eddy found this such a great honour to learn from the best and took with him valuable lifelong skills from his visit.

https://twitter.com/NPCENGTEAM/status/913039119789543424

Since Eddy left Northumbria Police he has been lucky to spend some time shadowing Chief Constable Dee Collins. Spending lots of time with the senior team, he watched lots of important presentations before passing his message to fellow teds.

Since then he has been lucky to spend some time shadowing Chief Constable Dee Collins, spending lots of time with the senior team, he watched lots of important presentations before passing his message to fellow teds.

From there he headed to the West York Police Force control room and even went out on patrol with a certain well-known PCSO who features in the Police Twitter Awards, Maybe Ted has his eyes on the awards after spending all that time with the Best Tweeting Chief Constable of the Year.

Leg Three West Yorkshire Police

After a long journey from Northumbria Police Eddy arrived at West Yorkshire Police HQ, as he arrived he was very excited and looking forward to meeting many officers. His first port of call was @WYP_BAWP.

Eddy was quick to get noticed within West Yorkshire and wanted to meet with the Best Tweeting Chief Constable Dee Collins, seeking advice on how he should tweet because he couldn’t really work it out knowing that this was one of the CC strengths he leapt at the chance or did he just have his eyes set on those awards?

He was quick to jump at the chance to shadow one of the most inspirational women within British policing. Together they went off to brief Eddy on the Police and Crime plan.

Eddy really enjoyed the meeting and was able to take a lot away with him. He had lots to think about before he headed off.

But Eddy spotted a camera, The last time he did this he stole a slot on the Police Interceptors, this could be his chance to get noticed and swoop the best tweeting police bear award at this year’s Police Twitter Awards…. Come on Eddy he was thinking.

After all those pictures Eddy decided to hunt out the snacks, he was starting to get hungry after all that work.

All of a sudden he bumped into one of the Police Twitter Awards Finalists he was star struck as he filled his paws.

It was only Police Community Support Officer Sarah Barberini. He knew he only had one chance to make sure PCSO Barberini would work with him, maybe later.

After making arrangements to go out another day Eddy was back with Dee talking about the importance of Force Accountability with Meg Ininns. He really enjoyed the company of Meg, such a wonderful lady he thought.

Next Eddy wanted to learn some leadership skills he was so excited that he grabbed one of the front seats.

Eddy told Angela Williams that he was very impressed with their 999 performance. He decided he must visit the contact centre.

https://twitter.com/WYPAngelaWill/status/918247052341071872

999 whats your emergency, Eddy was now on his first emergency call, he jumped straight in there he just wanted to do his bit to make a difference and help another.

Following his call Eddy was supported by another member of the Forces Contact Centre to guide him in the right direction.

After a 12 hour night shift in the West Yorkshire Contact Centre Eddy was raring to go and decided he wanted to pay a little visit to some four-legged friends.

https://twitter.com/WYPHorses/status/918441245328007169

Marley was not having any of it, Eddy get a suitable riding hat on or you’re not coming out with me.

Next Eddy was off to promote diversity and difference within West Yorkshire Police with some fellow friends.

Yes, the day has finally come that Eddy gets to work with one of the Police Twitter Award Finalists, he wants to learn from the best here. He was delighted to be announced as a new starter. That award must be within his sights now.

Dedicated to the job and eager to make some good first impressions with PCSO Barberini he decided he would help fill out the digital record for a section 59 warning. Phew thinking Eddy i managed to get out of making the brews.

A quick check of PCSO Barberini boots and they are off out on patrol. Very shiney indeed he added.

Next, he decided he would visit Cohort 6… All at the ready line up for inspection… Come on now.

PSCO Barberini was soon onto his plans to take the best tweeting bear at the police twitter awards and chucked him in the cells, before releasing him and thanking him for his time.

Yes another camera, I have time to reclaim my fame and take to the big screen move over police interceptors I’ve got my own show now West Yorkshire 999.

Next Eddy was off to see Police Sergeant Chirs Dibbs to learn about leadership and professional development.

https://twitter.com/WYP_PSDibbs/status/919937783137005568

He quickly took the opportunity for another photo with Sarah Baker and Andy From the West Yorkshire Police media team.

https://twitter.com/WYP_PSDibbs/status/919915574393737218

Eddy was then introduced to the West Yorkshire Police Training Centre and meet with Cohort 13A/B. Wishing them all good luck.

Next, he took the opportunity to give some advice to members of the performance, conduct and welfare class for first line managers.

And then he was off to meet some new officers on their second day with West Yorkshire Police

And decided to help Cohort 12 A/B with their IT instruction.

Next, it was a lesson in first aid, one of the most important aspects of police training when responding to a critical situation.

After a fantastic couple of days at Carr Gate Eddy was eager to show off everything he had been shown to Ossett Brownies.

However he had his sights on NPAS Carr Gate, Maybe he will be the eye in the sky next?

For now, it’s a sleepover with PC Sally Baines…. Goodnight Eddy. Don’t be making too much noise.

https://twitter.com/WYP_SallyB/status/920750119045206017

Why the tour?

Eddy was sent on his travels by Durham Police so that we could raise further awareness and funds for COPS Charity, We wanted a creative way to have some fun and along the way raise some money for a good cause.

UK Cops are dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives in relation to their duty, to rebuild their lives and we wanted to do our little bit.

Julia Berry has been doing running lately and wanted to use her running to raise money for her chosen charity.

She has already taken on the Cops 30 Miler, The Great North Run, ending at the Birmingham International Marathon.

You can keep track Jules runs and where Eddy is at on his tour by following @PCEdwardWalker #PCWalkerTours

About COPS

COPS is the UK charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives in relation to their duty, to rebuild their lives.

Since being founded in 2003, they have helped hundreds of families shattered by the loss of their police officer. They aim to ensure that surviving family members have all the help they need

to cope with such a tragedy and they remain part of the police family.

What COPS do

COPS is a peer support charity, enabling Survivors from around the UK to support other Survivors in practical ways. They arrange local and national events that enable Survivors to build friendships and bonds that support them through the good times and bad.

Families are rightly proud of their officer and COPS to help ensure that they remain part of the police family.

Please Donate

If you are wanting to make a donation to UK Cops please donate via Jules Just Giving Page.

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Police Promotion the Knowns and Unknowns

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Promotion to Sergeant and Inspector ranks are significant transitions in any policing career.

Becoming More Promotable

Following a kind invitation from Police Hour, I am delighted to have this opportunity to support UK police officers aspiring to police promotion and looking to make the jump to first and second line supervisor positions.

With that in mind, i aim over coming months to offer guidance to help navigate some of the real and perceived barriers associated with achieving promotions.

If you missed my initial blog you can find it here: The Greasy Pole 

I thought I would start this blog by looking at some things generally well known around promotion in the service, whilst also considering valuable aspects that often remain unknown.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll expand on some of these themes to ensure officers working to become ‘more promotable’ can benefit from FREE tips and insights to raise awareness and deliver their best performance when it matters.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Preparing ahead is a simple strategy for promotion success.

Adopting this approach will help confirm what you know, identify what you don’t and identify things you hadn’t even thought about knowing.

Imagine walking into your promotion board and every question the panel asks you is an unwelcome surprise.

You struggle to understand the relevance of the first question. You are uncomfortable. You find yourself struggling to string together a meaningful response. You wish the earth would open up and swallow you. It’s a big relief when it’s all over. You know afterwards in your heart that they didn’t see you at your best.

Does this happen? Yes. Is it entirely avoidable? Of course!

I was inspired to write this blog partly through speaking recently to a group of promotion candidates. Some honestly believed that being effective at their day job equated to being a good promotion candidate. Signposting them to certain information resources came as a significant revelation with one commenting:

You don’t know what you don’t know, how are you supposed to know this stuff?

This brought to mind the following quote by Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of Defence:

As we know, there are known knowns; these are things we know we know. We also know that there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. – Donald Rumsfeld

People initially thought Rumsfeld’s speech was nonsense but I believe the statement makes good sense.

Scientific research often investigates known unknowns, so when it comes to awareness levels and knowledge in the context of preparing for police promotion opportunities, I thought it might be helpful to reflect upon Rumsfeld’s statement and some of its points.

Known Knowns

Things we know we know about promotion selection processes include some of the steps involved:

  • Written applications
  • Psychometric tests
  • Interview/board

Written applications

The initial application could be a full competency-based format or a simple registration form. If the former, there’ll be a requirement to align your evidence or examples to your own force promotion framework (CVF/MLF/PPF).

Word limits apply too, ranging between 250 words to a couple of thousand.

We know some forces don’t require applications, instead, they require first-line supervisors to ‘write up’ individuals to be considered for promotion.

Psychometric tests

Additional gateway stages involving psychometric tests are now a common feature of promotion selection processes.

These include Inductive Reasoning Tests (IRT) or ‘diagrammatic style’ tests, designed to measure abilities important in solving problems.

Another variant is the Situational Judgment Test (SJT), which assesses the ability to choose the most appropriate action in workplace situations. It’s considered to be a particularly effective measure of managerial and leadership capabilities. There are others.

Interview 

This is perhaps the best of the known knowns.

An interview is a consistent theme and perhaps the most recognised component of a selection process AKA a promotion board.

Although it’s well known, individuals still turn up and knock on this particular door of opportunity significantly unprepared for it. That’s despite weeks and sometimes months of advance notice.

The timescales for a promotion selection process are a known, along with the fact that line supervisors are likely to recommend you for promotion and hopefully offer assistance.

We also know there is always more to learn and support is appreciated and valued.

Last but no means least, we know there will be more candidates than posts – ergo competition.

Known Unknowns

Things we do not know. 

In my experience, it is not unusual for aspiring officers to not know the role they are applying for. Being able to speak about it for five minutes is beyond them initially.

It’s easily admitted by most and quickly remedied but it’s a significant knowledge gap for anyone hoping to impress a promotion panel. Having a good understanding of the role also facilitates confidence in being proactive in written applications and verbally in an interview.

Another known unknown is lack of understanding around the type of interview or kind of questions candidates will face. Again, this gap is easily filled and awareness improved, so that reasonable anticipation of questions and potential responses can be considered and factored into effective preparation.

Wider challenges facing policing, a candidate’s force or what they will do as a newly promoted Sergeant or Inspector to contribute to successful policing are frequently recognised as known unknowns. A few choice questions can quickly identify these gaps and get to work on filling them so that a candidate is not only aware but has an in-depth insight and focus on what they have to offer the force in tackling these issues as a newly promoted leader, manager and supervisor.

A simple thing that can bypass candidates is the value of guidance and instructions issued by their force for the forthcoming promotion process. This often includes specific detail about what is important for the organisation at the time, qualities the force is looking for, guidance around the process and important rules to follow (e.g. Word limits)

Lots of candidates know they don’t know these things, but they attempt the process anyway. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but preparing ahead to get it right first time is about working smart as well as hard.

Especially when support is often hidden in plain sight.

Unknown Unknowns

These are things we don’t know we don’t know. For example, did you know that different forces have different promotion processes in place at different times for different ranks?

Not a lot of people know that  – Michael Caine

Most unknown unknowns can be thought of as ‘impossible to imagine in advance’. In other words, unidentified risks.

Preparing you to be an all round better candidate, confident and aware with a rounded perspective on leadership and your own development needs, can take time. The benefit is that it stands you in good stead for any process.

Discovering your unknown unknowns is about converting them to known unknowns so that they become manageable. You can focus and fill your gaps from there.

Why Are the Goal Posts Changing? 

Unknown unknowns become apparent or may ‘surface’ in coaching conversations. Alternatively, the ‘penny drops’ in a promotion Masterclass, where an unknown issue is highlighted and can then be expanded upon as required.

What occurs out there in the wider world and how it links to changing requirements in the context of promotion processes is one example. Common questions officers ask include:

  • Why are the goalposts changing?
  • Why are all these tests being introduced?
  • What have they got to do with policing?

These unknown unknowns remain unanswered for many.

It comes as surprise news that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has identified specific skills needed – up to 2020 and beyond – by leaders and line managers across various industries. It detailed them in a report the ‘Future of Jobs’ as follows:

  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • People Management
  • Co-ordinating with others
  • Judgement and Decision Making
  • Cognitive Flexibility.

Now overlay them across assessment tests in current police promotion selection processes and you can quickly recognise links, understand the context and get to work on practising assessment tests in advance to close your gaps. These skills are assessed against competencies described in your force promotion framework (e.g. decision making)

Indicators of Leadership High Potential

A common unknown is that the College of Policing (COP) has produced a document, which details indicators of leadership high potential. You’ll find it as an appendix to fast-track promotion guidance.

It describes expectations and is helpful for aspiring promotion candidates to align against. You can recognise skills identified in the WEF ‘Future of Jobs’ report including Emotional intelligence, Critical thinking and Decision-making.

 

Image Reproduced with permission of the College of Policing.

7 Things Promotion Boards Also Look For

Finally, if you are preparing ahead and would like something to trigger and support your thinking, you might discover some known knowns, known unknowns or even unknown unknowns in my FREE 50 page downloadable guide: ‘7 Things Promotion Boards Also Look For’.

In my next two blogs, I’ll focus on the roles of Sergeant and Inspector.

Until then, wherever you are on your promotion journey I hope I have provided you with some food for thought.

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The Greasy Pole Police Promotion by Steve Cooper

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The aim of a promotion selection process is to fill positions in the police service and to promote the best available people. These are usually individuals whose depth and breadth of preparation underpins hard-won success.

The Free Dictionary describes the ‘greasy pole’ as being used to talk about someone’s attempts to reach a more successful position in their career. You don’t hear the term so much today but economic and political drivers acting on the police service are constantly changing the landscape, not least in the field of promotions.

A mix and match approach with selection processes across various forces currently includes supervisor recommendations, applications, psychometric tests, presentations and interviews.

Whichever system is in place some people will always be dissatisfied. There is no one best system, but achieving a promotion is a significant challenge. It should be. It’s a competition, with many more qualified individuals than vacancies.

Preparing for nine months leading up to a competitive Sergeants selection process (involving an application stage, a situational judgment test and an interview) was the approach taken by one of my successful clients.

“It’s a very hard process, but so worth it if you are willing and able to put the time and work in”.

Entering a promotion selection process can be like purchasing a ticket for a roller coaster ride, with highs of elation and lows of dejection. The experience of many who embark on this aspect of career progression is that there are no guarantees. Not everyone succeeds. Resilience and perseverance are called for. Some individuals repeat the same things whilst expecting a different outcome. The right support at the right time can make a significant difference to how you approach a promotion as this client discovered.

“I’ve tried for 9 years and sat 7 boards. This year I fully embraced your masterclass and passed”

Different routes exist and promotion is not referred to as the greasy pole for nothing. Some people believe the promotion is owed to them, a reward for past performance. This is a mistake. Promotion is awarded to those offering the best future for the organisation and you may need an overwhelming appetite to advance in what is a highly competitive environment.

Despite all this, promotions still tick over as does policing. With some hard smart work, you too can achieve promotion success. A continuous professional development plan, taking responsibility for your learning and a positive attitude are vital considerations if you want to be ‘match fit’ for opportunities that may arise. A clear focus on working towards your goal is required and solid preparation is the key to success.

If you choose promotion as your future it’s wise to be prepared today.

To download a free guide for Promotion Frameworks and 7 Things Promotion Interview Boards also look for click here now or to download Steve Coopers Sergeant Promotion Toolkit please click here!.

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Armed Policing…

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Armed Police are just regular cops with guns, they volunteer to carry the gun and do not get paid extra for the risk they face when they pull the trigger.

They are the ones that run into danger with the risk that they won’t return home to their own families all because they want to save and protect others from death.

Armed officers are there at terrorist incidents and have killed active terrorists within seconds of jumping out the ARV.

They’ve risk everything to protect their own lives while protecting others. When I say they risk it all they put their own life at risk and then their own job and their own liberty at the hands of the criminal justice system.

Armed officers have just one second to decide if they are going to take a life or not, because one second later that armed officer could be the one who has his or her life taken.

Officers press their finger on the trigger, point the red dot on the torso hoping they won’t have to pull the trigger and begin shouting demands. At the moment that armed cop is hoping the weapon is thrown to one side,

They don’t want to have to shoot suspects or kill them. They are simply there to remove the risk and lock up the bad guy. They never want to be in that situation but it happens.

Sometimes and very rarely that weapon isn’t thrown aside despite the officers wish and what goes through his or her mind will be the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do that officer has one second to decide, to let the trigger.

A simple choice that the offender has made in which he was very much in control of has changed both lives forever instead of jail there is now a funeral and the officer that let go of that trigger will face a grilling in the press & face investigation with the possibility of criminal charges for simply doing a job.

Within hours of not knowing the true circumstances, the armchair police and keyboard warriors will have set in and completed investigation for the police. something we simply need to wait until the investigation is complete before we judge.

Police will only shoot at offenders in a very limited number of circumstances and that would be a terrorist or someone who is shot by officers to prevent a further loss of life.

That officer and armed response team did not leave the house this morning thinking I’m going to kill someone tonight.

That officer will have a number of sleepless nights and flashbacks knowing they have taken a life. something that isn’t easy to live with even in the circumstances faced.

Imagine the sad feeling that firearms officers face when they are faced with that split-second choice to pull the trigger.

Sometimes after hours of negotiations to reduce the risk and encourage the offender to give it up and not escalate things further, no one goes out to kill someone. Cops go out to help people after shooting they then offer life support in attempts to save the offenders life.

Those officers who pull the trigger are forced into that choice because within that second they knew they would have lost their lives and that will stay with them for the rest of theirs.

After that moment the officer will face investigation, interviews the IPCC and then inquests and possible legal action.

We must support our armed officers and not criticise the brilliant work they are doing day and night to keep us safe.

They are incredibly skilled and talented officers. Tweet your views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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