First to qualify in a new generation of Wiltshire Specials
Twenty-two year-old Alex Jenkins has become the first person to qualify as a Special Constable at Wiltshire Police since our new application and training programme was introduced in October 2016.
Alex, one of the newest recruits to the Swindon South Community Policing Team juggles the voluntary role with a day job as an intelligence researcher for the force.
As a special constable, he has all the same powers as a regular officer, but gives his time for free to help police his community.
Special Inspector Rob Bewey speaks highly of his new recruit. "Alex has been a stalwart since he joined the specials and is highly thought of by his team and special colleagues," he said. "He is a keen and dedicated Special and will volunteer wherever there is a policing need."
Alex said: "The most enjoyable part of being a special is having been welcomed in to such a brilliant team in Swindon.
"The chance to work so closely with regular officers, learn from their own personal experiences and advice will help make me become a better officer.
"It is fascinating to see the process of someone being arrested and charged from start to finish and I have had the opportunity to work through this process.
"It has been a brilliant learning experience for me."
Alex is one of 130 special constables welcomed into Wiltshire Police since the changes to recruitment and training took place.
After completing basic training, special constables' start accompanied patrol and phase two training; this included class room based training, self-learning, webinars and accompanied patrol. During accompanied patrol and phase two training Alex amassed over 1,000 hours in total.
Assistant Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "Signing up to become a special constable is a massive commitment. Not only did Alex take this step, he has also completed a demanding and intensive training programme alongside self-study and his day job.
"I would like to congratulate Alex on this achievement. He is already a valued member of the Force and a real asset to the Swindon Community Policing Team."
Following closely in Alex's footsteps, special constables Michael Porter, Raimon Hartley and James Prades from Chippenham have also been signed off as qualified.
Special Inspector Selena Hackett said: "These officers have done exceptionally well, and their dedicated has allowed them to power through their training and Police Action Checklist.
"Working closely with the regular officers in Chippenham really helped, and I would like to thank the whole team for their support.
"These are extremely competent officers who will add great value to Chippenham."
ACC Pritchard added: "I would like to thank all our newly qualified Special Constables for all their hard work over the last year and thank them on behalf of the Force and the community their commitment."
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson who made significant investment in the Special Constabulary and launched the new recruitment project in 2016 said: "I recognise volunteers play a fundamental role in policing, enriching our police force with skills and experience.
"I am delighted to see that through their hard work these special constables are now qualified and working within community policing teams.
"Thank you to all."
You can find out more about being a Special Constable on the Wiltshire Police Special Constabulary website.