S/Inspector Phil Booth | Kent Police Special Constabulary
As a day job I work as a teacher and Subject Head at a school in Medway. When I’m not working or being a special I’m a big supporter of Gills FC and enjoy competing in cycling events, riding for Medway Velo Cycling Club.
My day job means I work extremely hard but it still gives me time to carry out my duties as a Special. Most of my shifts are Friday evenings but I do like to get out more during school holidays.
I joined up in November 2007 and over the last 6 1/2 years I’ve been in a variety of different roles across Medway and Swale for Kent Police.
At the moment I’m an Inspector responsible for the Special District Team in Swale. I was fortunate enough to be promoted to the management role in 2012 and I’ve had the opportunity to develop my skills further, many of which I can easily transfer to my day job which is great. Our team works alongside response teams in north Kent dealing with 999 calls and emergencies.
I only became a special in my mid-thirties and whilst I was a little apprehensive that being older may have meant that I wasn’t suited for the role I soon realised that it meant that I could bring my life experiences and skills from my civilian job to the force.
My intention was never to join as a regular officer but I now see myself as a ‘career special’. The rewards will always keep me going, knowing that I have done something to improve my community.
The role is immensely enjoyable, I really value working with regular officers and our team and I enjoy the real sense of team spirit that exists here.
Training has always been well delivered and you soon pick up all of the necessary skills and pass your on-going exams. My initial training was a great experience and whilst in some ways it was a little sad to finish, it was incredibly exciting to move on and be out on patrol.
I quickly found out first hand that Kent Police was one big team. As police officers we attend all sorts of jobs ranging from anti-social behaviour issues to attending burglaries and more serious crimes. Residents don’t see us differently and are often very surprised to hear that we volunteer our time.
One area where I did feel that I made a real difference was when I organised an operation tackling large numbers of nuisance vehicles causing issues in a local industrial estate. Organising this operation used a great deal of my personal and professional skills and the strong team spirit and ‘can do’ attitude that exists here meant it all ran smoothly. It was great that our operation had a long-term effect on reducing the issues around anti-social motorists in this area, and gave us all a real sense of achievement and doing some good for the local community.
Kent Police has provided me with training throughout my time in the force and I feel well equipped to perform my role and support my teams of officers. I like to think that I have had a positive impact with what I do and I find the role so rewarding.