Cheshire's newly appointed Specials Chief Officer, is looking forward to exciting challenges ahead as Cheshire launches their new Special's recruitment drive.
Brian Woodward, a Logistics Director for an international manufacturer said: "I am delighted to have been selected as Chief Officer for the Special Constabulary and am looking forward to welcoming many new recruits as part of Cheshire's 'Do Something Special Today' campaign.
"It sounds like a cliché to say that being a Special has transformed my life but it really has. I think I was shallow and lived in a corporate world thinking that everyone was as fortunate as myself. Being a Special made me very aware of my surroundings and also very appreciative of the safe community that I was fortunate to live in".
Mr Woodward started life as a Special at the age of 42 and acknowledges it was something he had never previously contemplated. It was on a family day out at Sandbach Donkey Derby, when a member of the Cheshire Volunteers team asked whether he had ever thought of joining the Police as a volunteer. He reminisces:
"My initial reaction was I was too old and hadn't got any spare time. A few days later and after a review of my spare time, I realised that I did have 4 hours a week to spare and that at 42 I probably could put my life skills to some useful purpose".
After initial training and being attested, Mr Woodward was very active in patrolling Crewe town centre:
"I realised very quickly that I had truly joined a family of like-minded people who all have a shared and common aim. The officers that I worked with at Crewe were truly inspirational and exceptionally committed to their jobs. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of volunteering to 'Do Something Special Today' and enquiry about the Special Constabulary; it really is a worthwhile and rewarding use of your time."
During his time as a Special, Mr Woodward has received many awards for his achievements. He was highly commended for his work with increasing the number of Special Constables in the Eastern area at the Ferrers Awards in 2008. Achievements in this area led to a standardising of Specials recruitment across all the Forces in the UK − awarding him and his team the Achievement in Recruitment Award category at the Special Constable and Police Support Volunteer Awards in 2010.
Cheshire Police has over 350 Special Constables from a variety of backgrounds and occupations who volunteer a minimum of four and a quarter hours per week to support regular officers in day-to-day tasks, planning operations and patrolling their local communities.
To find out more about becoming a Special Constable, including frequently asked questions and details of the recruitment process, please visit the Cheshire Police website jobs page or use the following link to get to the Special Constabulary pages www.cheshire.police.uk/jobs/special-constables.aspx.