The Wise Family – A Policing Conversation Across Generations
In a world where legacies are often associated with wealth or power, there exists a policing legacy of a different kind – a legacy of service to the community, of safeguarding and protecting those in need. This legacy is about to pass to a third generation of the Wise family, who has been protecting our communities since 1971. We joined former DC Andrew Wise (retired) and his son, soon-to-retire DS Adam Wise as they witness son/grandson Jack Wise at his attestation ceremony*, which took place at our Sulhamstead Training Centre in August 2023.
*Attestation Ceremony: The attestation ceremony is a key moment for all police officers as they begin a career in policing. The attestation said by every new officer underlines their commitment to serve TVP and the public with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality.
Andrew: I was a very proud Dad when my son, Adam joined TVP (Thames Valley Police) back in 1996. I am so proud today, that now 27 years later my grandson Jack has decided to follow in our footsteps. That’s over half a century of policing in our family.
Adam: Yes, I began my journey in 1996 just before turning 28, moving from the finance industry to become a Police Constable (PC). After several years as a uniformed PC, I also followed my father’s path, transitioning into the detective world and spent much of my career in Bracknell & Reading.
Andrew: Much like Adam I spent the majority of my career in investigation as a Detective, I dealt with serious crime, special investigations and child protection. I was proud to have been involved in the team that brought to justice one of the biggest and most vicious paedophile rings in the country, tinged with sadness that we were never able to recover the body of the seven-year-old boy with whom the inquiry started.
Adam: Protecting children has been a key element of my career too, having worked in CAIU (Child Abuse Investigation Unit) and more recently our Child Exploitation and Safeguarding Team. I think our stories of dedication and making a difference definitely played a part in Jack’s decision to join, hearing about our contributions, it instilled a sense of purpose and pride in him.
Jack: Absolutely, your work’s impact, combined with meeting other officers through you, made me certain of my career choice. I’m joining at 23 years old having gained my A Levels and worked in the hospitality industry for a while. My earlier jobs gave me valuable people skills but weren’t rewarding, at the end of my day I would finish and go home. But with policing, especially with my Dad, I saw how the hard work that you put in is rewarded by helping your community and helping the public feel safer.
Andrew: The basics are still constant – treating people with respect, honesty, and empathy. Remember that every interaction matters.
Adam: Yes, treat every interaction with the public as you would want your own family to be treated. Basic policing has never changed, it’s about dealing with people. My first advice to young officers would be, remember, if you speak to people as you wish to be spoken to, you will not go far wrong. Always put yourself in their shoes and consider their perspective in your decision-making. This empathy will make a world of difference in how you serve our community.
Jack: If the basics have stayed the same, what would you say has changed?
Andrew: Having been away from policing for 22yrs I’m not sure fully I can answer that question, but advances in forensics and intelligence-led policing have surely made outcomes more certain.
Adam: Over the years I have seen a lot of changes, with the majority relating to technology. When I first started there were two computers in the briefing room, all of our crime reports and investigations were handwritten forms and sent to HQ on an overnight postal service for the main computer system to be updated. We now have personal issue laptops, ANPR both static cameras and in vehicles, improved forensics techniques, and the fact that nearly everyone has a mobile phone, which provides us with investigative opportunities. Of course, not all technological advances make life easier, the development of the internet and social media has created opportunities for criminals to commit new types of crime, none more so than in world of child protection where I have worked for the last 10 years.
The core of our service still is unchanged- serving and safeguarding our communities. The personal touch in our interaction, the trust we build, and the impact we have are timeless aspects that define our role as police officers.
Jack: I want to follow in your footsteps. You both navigated varied roles and teams, and I aim to continue that legacy. I’d like to work in the most demanding areas like you have both done. What do you think you’ll miss dad?
Adam: I will personally miss making a difference and the camaraderie within the teams. I am extremely proud that Jack has decided to follow in both mine and his grandfather’s footsteps, and I look forward to seeing him carving out his own path and contributing to making the Thames Valley a safe place for its residents and those who pass through. This job is unlike any other and you will share experiences and bonds with people that will last a lifetime.
Adam retires from TVP in September, we thank you for your service and wish Jack every success. If you have been inspired by the Wise family, consider pursuing a policing career with Thames Valley Police.
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