Joel - ACT Policing

What is your current role?

First Constable.

You first started with the AFP as a PSO – when and why did you want to transition to Policing?

I transitioned from a PSO to ACT Policing, as I had worked alongside ACT Policing at a number of events whilst working at Parliament House. The Community aspect of Policing is what appealed to me most, so I transitioned to ACT Policing after a year as a PSO.

What skills did you learn as a PSO that have helped you in your policing career?

Being a PSO built a great foundation for me, I got to learn about the organisation, undertook operational safety training, driver training and de-escalation skills that have assisted me greatly in my Policing career – especially when I returned to the college to transition to Policing. Having the ability to communicate effectively has assisted in de-escalating numerous incidents I have attended.

Can you describe your job in three words?

  • Exciting
  • Challenging
  • Rewarding

Who has been your biggest supporter throughout your career?

My biggest supporter would be my eldest brother. Growing up he wanted to become a Police Officer and decided to become a Paramedic with NSW Ambulance instead. Therefore we chat often and share stories, as working in any emergency service is rewarding and challenging, he is a great support network to have especially on days you have attended incidents and it hasn't been the desired outcome.

How does shift work impact you and your social life?

I love shift work – in certain areas of the job I have worked, it has been a Monday to Friday role and I cannot tell you how excited I was to return to a shift working roster. You get 4 to 5 days off at certain periods in the roster and this often gives me the opportunity to travel to the coast or interstate, or spend time with family or friends.
Shift work can be challenging when you're involved in team sports as you work afternoon, nights, weekends and public holidays.
But in terms of a social life – it is very friendly I find. During the summer I volunteer as a Surf Lifesaver on weekends off and generally find it a great excuse to head to the coast. During the winter months I hit the ski fields at Perisher spending three to four days at the snow each trip.

What is your career highlight to date?

In November 2018, I was given the opportunity to deploy to Papua New Guinea (PNG) for the 2018 APEC summit, to provide advisory support to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary during the world leaders' summit. It was certainly an eye opening experience working collaboratively with the PNG Police and Defence Forces.
I never thought when I joined ACT Policing, that I would be given the opportunity to work overseas and share my knowledge, skills and experience on a global scale. It was certainly a rewarding experience and the locals were extremely accommodating and thankful for the assistance we provided to them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The AFP is doing a great deal of work around policing for the future. In March 2017, Commissioner Colvin launched the AFP Futures Strategy and I have been given the opportunity to move into this area later this month. I am very excited for this opportunity to assist the AFP with delivering on its future strategic capabilities as policing is a dynamic environment that will continue to challenge generalist policing and standards required of police.

What is one misconception people may think about Policing, especially within ACT Community Police?

I often get asked by people – "do cops have quotas for speeding?"

  • The answer is no. Police do not have quotas for issuing traffic infringement notices.

Another question that I get asked is "can you join ACT Policing straight out of school?"  

  • As long as you meet all the mandatory requirements when applying, you will have just a good of a chance as anyone. I joined the AFP when I was 21 years old and have worked with colleagues who are 19 or 20 and they are great police officers.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a potential new recruit?

There's no doubt your new journey to becoming a police officer will be a challenge, so use it to be a better person. When you have a chance to make a difference out there, do it.

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