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Staff stories - Operations and Communications Centres

Ian Smallwood
Ian Smallwood
Ian Smallwood, Communications Officer

I joined the police as a regular officer in 1977 and am still here, now a civilian member of staff, some 42 years later! I have worked in the Operations and Communications Centre for 12 years, firstly as an ANPR controller and then working as an area controller.

I have always enjoyed working for the police, with the camaraderie of colleagues and the bitter-sweet mixture of incidents that we deal with.

As a call handler and a radio controller, I enjoy using the skills I have gained both inside and outside Warwickshire Police to assist officers and the public. As a radio controller, I find I am always aware of how important it is to try and maximise our resources, and at the same time try and give the public a response that they are happy with.

My best incident recently was controlling a 'chase' for seven miles across country of offenders responsible for the theft of an ATM from a shop. This involved interacting with the helicopter, dog handlers and area and traffic resources on the ground. The incident lasted for nearly two hours and resulted in two arrests.

Dulcie Rooney
Dulcie Rooney
Dulcie Rooney, Communications Officer

Almost 11 years ago, no one was more surprised than I to be offered employment by Warwickshire Police. Being deaf in one ear, I was sure I would be turned down for a position as a Communications Officer, but they said yes, and once my initial training was complete the force provided me with specialist equipment to connect my hearing aid into the phone and computer system. As technology has progressed this has been upgraded so I now have some state of the art kit to help me do my job.

Debbie Page, Communications Officer

Over the years, I have had my own business running a petrol forecourt and worked in software for the petrol industry, but in 2003 I joined Warwickshire Police. I have worked on switchboard, duty planning, vehicle recovery, alarms administration and now as a Communications Officer in the Control Room.

I am very proud to work for Warwickshire Police. I enjoy helping people and using my listening and questioning skills to help people understand what we can do and what other agencies could help them better.

There are times when it is difficult to hear the caller, there could be screaming and shouting in the background or the sound of the wind taking the caller's voice, but as a communications officer you pick up the urgency in the voice and need to get sufficient information to decide on the threat risk and harm and the speed of response officers need to attend. Each call is different and you never know what type of call you get next.

The best thing about working for the police is team work. You help each other, you catch each other, you support each other.