We have Specials who are labourers, bank clerks, shop assistants, travel agents, train drivers, and our Special Chief Officer Dale Cartwright is training to be a doctor – due to qualify later this year.In South Wales, we are extremely fortunate to have a loyal band of people who give up their own time to help keep our communities safe.
The only difference between our other Police Officers and Specials is that their service is voluntary rather than paid.
They have the same powers as police officers, wearing the same uniform and receiving the same training.
Special Constables have to work a minimum of 16 hours per month, but there have been cases where Specials have worked 70 or 80 hours a month to help the force and for the love of the job.
During the Olympics alone the force’s Special Constables volunteered over 1200 hours of their own time, and they clocked up over 40,000 volunteering hours in 2011.
Being a trainee doctor came in handy when our Specials Chief Officer Dale Cartwright was working on the frontline. He used his experience to become the team medic on one of the force PSUs (Public Support Units) and has used his first aid skills on the beat.
Recalling one such incident, Dale said:
I was the first officer on the scene of a road traffic collision where a young man had been hit by a bus in Trecynon. I immediately administered first aid and assisted the rapid response paramedic until an ambulance arrived.
I travelled with the young man in the ambulance to the hospital and was able to use my communications skills learned in medical school to liaise with his family when they arrived.
Special Constables often have outside skills that compliment their work as police officers. Deploying officers into posts that allow them to exercise these skills will create stronger teams and a fitter organisation.
Interested in becoming a Special Constable? Look out for recruitment updates on our website, @swpolice Twitter and Facebook.