Meet Neighbourhood Officer Willker
With the desire to make a difference in the community running in his family, we’ve recently spoken with our colleague Willker about his journey into policing, and how he has been protecting our communities in a variety of roles at TVP over the last few years.
- Current Role: Neighbourhood Officer
- Age at joining: 35 years old
- Length of Service: Just over 4 years
Willker, what attracted you to policing?
I grew up in Brazil in a military household. My grandad was my main inspiration, he was a Police Sergeant, and he used to tell me all about his time in the police. I went to a military school before signing up to become a soldier in the Brazilian Air Force, which I did for a few years. When I moved to the UK 15 years ago, I still wanted to make a positive impact in my community and help people, just like in the stories that my grandad used to tell me. I have always had a strong sense of justice and a desire to serve and protect others so becoming a Police Officer with Thames Valley Police (TVP) seemed like the perfect fit for me.
How has your career developed at TVP, and are you looking to progress in your career in the future?
Before I became a Police Officer I worked as a 999/101 Call handler/Control Room Operator for 2 years with TVP. During that time, I gave some of my spare time to be a volunteer Police Officer, also known as a Special Constable, for just over a year, and this sparked my interest to become a Police Officer. I decided to apply and joined as a full-time Police Officer in 2019. I worked the first 3 years as an Incident and Response (ICR) Officer before becoming a Neighbourhood Officer. I have had the opportunity to gain valuable experience and I have received training in different areas of policing, which has helped me develop both personally and professionally. I am looking to progress in my career in the future and take on more responsibilities, with the aim of making a greater impact within the force.
Do you feel supported in your workplace?
Yes, I do. Thames Valley Police has a strong support system in place, including supervisors, colleagues, and various support networks. There is always someone available to provide guidance, advice, and assistance when needed. One of the many supports available is the Occupational Health Department, which provides confidential advice and support to officers regarding their physical and mental well-being. They offer services such as health assessments, counselling, and referrals to specialist services if needed. TVP recognizes the importance of officer’s well-being and is committed to providing the necessary support.
What do you want people to know about what it is like being an ICR Officer versus being a Neighbourhood Officer?
Being an ICR (Incident Crime Response) Officer or a Neighbourhood Officer is both challenging and rewarding. As an ICR Officer, the core of the job is attending 999 and 101 calls, and dealing with difficult and volatile jobs, conducting golden hour investigations, safeguarding victims, and vulnerable people in need, investigating, and reviewing cases, and ensuring justice is served. As a Neighbourhood Officer, I work closely with the community, building relationships and addressing local concerns. Both roles require effective communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and a genuine desire to make a difference in people’s lives.
What is the best piece of advice you can give the public about staying safe?
I would say always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something feels wrong or unsafe, remove yourself from the situation and seek help if necessary, by calling 999 or 101. To protect property, it is important to take precautions such as locking doors and windows and installing CCTV. In addition, everyone must be cautious when sharing personal information online as cybercrime is evolving and increasing every day.
A personal highlight of your career?
Being interviewed by HRH Prince William during Mental Health Awareness Week 2023. It was a truly memorable experience, and an honour to have the opportunity to speak with him about such an important topic. Prince William is a strong advocate for mental health awareness and has done a lot to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. During our conversation, Prince William expressed his gratitude for the work that Police Officers do in supporting individuals with mental health challenges. He emphasized the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues within the police force itself, as well as in the wider community. It was inspiring to see Prince William’s genuine commitment to this cause.
What would you say to anyone considering policing as a career?
Policing is a challenging, yet incredibly rewarding career. It requires dedication, resilience, and a genuine desire to help others. It is a profession where you can make a real impact on people’s lives and contribute to the safety and well-being of your community. If you have a passion for justice and a commitment to public service, policing may be the right thing for you.
Thames Valley Police (TVP) is actively looking for people to be the difference they want to see in their communities.
To find out more about a policing career with TVP – including the realities of working on response, initial training, and to apply to become a Police Officer please visit our Police Officer page.