Alongside our Key Workers across the many sectors it covers, Police Scotland have been out in the community helping to keep people safe. Their role has changed in the last few months and we caught up with Police Constable, Grant McPherson who talked to us about his experiences within Police Scotland.
What attracted you to the industry? I have always had an interest in the emergency services and from leaving school I spoke with serving and retired Police officers. It was their experiences that gave me an insight to the role of a police officer and from there I knew it was the job for me.
How long have you been with the Police force? I have been a Police Officer now for nearly 5 years.
What does a normal day look like? My current role is with the Flexible Response Unit, which primarily involves assisting local divisions across the west of Scotland. This can vary from large scale events requiring a number of officers in short notice to proactive patrols within divisions, and assisting with calls.
What kind of training have you done? I am a standard response driver as well as Public Order trained which includes method of entry training, cordon training, public order street tactics and shield tactics used to deal with violent people.
What skills have you learned? An important skill I have learned through this job is preparation. Much of the job involves last minute changes to your day, week or even responding to a last minute events. Preparation has always come in handy, ensure you note any important details in briefings and be ready for any eventuality.
What skills are the most important for you to do your job well? Communication and team work. As a front line officer you will speak to a vast number of people within different communities, all of which will require you to use your communication skills. From taking details from the victim of a crime, to dealing with an offender you have to adapt and vary the way in which you communicate with people each day. A primary role within my job is working events which need to be policed by Public Order trained officers in which team work is essential. Each individual within a public order cordon must work with those in front and behind them to ensure the task is completed safely and effectively.
Was there anything about the role that surprised you? I was most surprised by just how big the role of a police officer can be. There are so many routes and specialisms you can take on, you will never get bored in this job and there is something for everyone.
Anything unusual about your job? The most unusual thing about my role is the places and circumstances you can find yourself on a day to day basis. You can start your day in one part of the country and in a matter of hours be working at the other side of the country.
What is your favourite part of the job? My favourite part of the job has to be the public order events and situations I have dealt with.
Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry? From leaving school yes, I went straight into university for 3 years but even throughout I knew it was the job I wanted to pursue when leaving.
What is your advice to young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship? Research into the job is essential and proactively going into offices to speak with serving officers was beneficial for me. They can give you a detailed insight into each day, and assist with any queries you have about the job. And keep a fit and healthy lifestyle, some of the roles as a police officer can be physically demanding so it’s always good to have a base fitness.
What is your career goal? My career goal just now is to continue to develop myself in my specialisms and take on any new challenging roles and skills throughout.
How does it feel to be a Key Worker, supporting the country’s fights against Covid19? Being a key worker during these time’s has been very rewarding, playing my part in ensuring people are remaining safe and complying with guidelines has been an eye opening. My role changed so quickly, one week I was escorting fans from a European football team across Glasgow, and the next week we were being trained in the new PPE to deal with COVID on the frontline. In the last few months we have had to adapt to working in unprecedented circumstances which has been a new challenge for me.
What makes you proud to be a key worker? To be working alongside some of the other amazing key workers has given me a sense of pride, seeing everyone doing their part as we come through these difficult times I’m proud to be part of it.