Elland Rogers – bringing valuable skills to the Special Constabulary
It’s been nearly three years since Elland Rogers first began volunteering as a Special Constable with Thames Valley Police – in that time, she has played an important role in guarding royal events, and been involved with a wide variety of jobs that have helped to protect our community. The Special Constabulary, and the people she has helped, have also benefited greatly from Elland’s own experiences and skills that have been developed through her job working with children in a special needs school.
Elland, how long have you been a Special Constable, and what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I’ve been a Special for nearly three years, whilst working as a swimming coach and as a Teaching Assistant in a specials needs school. I’m also studying for a degree in Physical Education and Youth Development in Sport.
How did you learn about the opportunity to volunteer as a Special Constable?
I used to volunteer for the army cadets and ran the sweet shop before getting asked to do a bit more which led me on to become a parent/guardian helper, so I have experience of volunteering. I think it was my mum that forwarded me a link to the specials webpage and said, “Have a look. I think you’d be good at it.” So I thought, “why not!” I was at college at the time finishing my diploma, and just went for it.
Do you remember your first shift as a Special?
I was getting used to the station and meeting the team who all made me feel welcome. And then I went out with my Special Sergeant – we just went for a drive, and whoever or whatever we came across, we dealt with.
Have you had any particularly memorable incidents or calls that stick in your mind?
On the first shift with my crewmate, we went to a domestic incident that had gone horribly wrong. I was sent into a house to check that the family was okay while my crewmate dealt with the suspect that answered the door. There were some nasty injuries and children were in the house so I was thrown in at the deep end.
I also did a shift on my 22nd birthday and we ended up dealing with a sudden death. It had started off as a search for a high risk missing person and we worked with the search and rescue team. It was an ‘everyone out’ kind of job.
What is it that you like most about being a Special?
The diversity of it, and that you can transfer your skills from your day job into policing. A lot of children that we deal with that go missing tend to be children with additional needs – so being in school, you kind of understand where people might go, what questions to ask family members, or what triggers there might be – things that people wouldn’t necessarily think of, like lights and sounds, but it does make a difference.
So has your experience of working in a special needs setting helped you to be a better special constable?
Yes, definitely. I know how to talk to people and adapt the conversation to each child in school, and it’s the same outside.
Is there anything that you’ve learned or any skills you’ve developed as a special that you’ve taken the other way, either into your work or into your personal life?
Probably problem-solving and critical thinking – because when things do go wrong, you don’t tend to panic as much. So yeah, I’d probably say the problem-solving side of it and the critical thinking in a time of need, I guess.
And finally, what would you say to somebody that was considering applying to be a Special?
Just give it a go! It’s a different type of world – it’s very unique and has a family feel to it. But also, being one of the youngest, you’re made to feel really welcome, and you make friends with people you wouldn’t expect to make friends with. You’ll go into situations that you never thought you would.
I’ve done things like guarding the royal events, and I spent four days at the King’s coronation. Then I’ve done Royal Ascot and things like that. So, yeah, it’s been quite cool!
If, like Elland, you have valuable skills that could play an important role in helping to protect our communities, then please consider volunteering as a Special Constable with Thames Valley Police – for more information, visit our Special Constables webpage, and apply today!