PCSO Chris Bis at the heart of our communities

PCSO Chris Bis at the heart of our communities

PCSO Chris BisChris has been a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) with Marlow Neighbourhood Policing Team since September 2020, joining TVP at age 56 after a successful career in the motor trade. We recently caught up with Chris about what it was like to move careers later in life and the transferable skills he carried over.

What was your previous career prior to joining TVP?
When I left school I went straight into the motor trade. My career took me to Dealer Principal with motor dealerships, but I eventually found that I most enjoyed the Service Manager role where I spent many happy years.

What transferable skills did you bring from your previous career?
I most enjoy the customer interaction, team-working and problem solving aspects of work life. I often said that I was not in the motor trade, but in the ‘people business’, whether that relates to members of the public or my own team. Because of my age, I have found that my life skills have been invaluable to me in helping to resolve some jobs and being able to offer advice to those who need it. In addition, my attention to detail and desire to solve a problem in order to help others has been hugely beneficial.

What does your day-to-day as a PCSO look like?
Starts with an essential coffee or two during my personal workload preparation and planning my day. Checking daily intelligence briefings to keep up to date with the latest goings in our area, then checking for new jobs I may have been tasked with. School patrol normally follows for our junior and secondary schools for morning drop-offs, which is a key part in our role to help with early school engagement. Routine foot or vehicle patrolling generally comes next, either single or double crewed, in an effort to help reassure our community that we are visible and there to help, support, work with, and protect them. You never know what job will come in next, so we wait for the call and respond where we are needed. Job write-ups, investigation and keeping members of the public updated on cases are also vital elements of our day.

What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your role?
The most rewarding part of being a PCSO is helping people in any aspect, but mostly for those who are vulnerable and who find it difficult to, or who are unable to help themselves. It’s rewarding to see how far some of my vulnerable individuals have come, with the right support from the right partners.

The most challenging aspect, however, is getting the right support in place in a timely manner from agencies, to help support those who are at risk and/or vulnerable. Trying to get those vulnerable to acknowledge that they may need help and to take the next step on the road to recovery.

What advice would you give to those considering becoming a PCSO? 
Don’t hesitate and do it now! It’s a great job that’s really varied and rewarding and you’ll enjoy a great work-life balance. For those thinking about making the move later in life, you have more skills than you think, as your life skills give you a wealth of knowledge to fall back on and help support others. You’ll wish you had done it earlier.

If Chris’s story has inspired you to consider a career as a PCSO, visit our PCSO page for further information and to begin your journey!