by Melanie Dawson, Police Scotland, Scottish Women’s Development Forum
I have been in the Police for 6 years. I started my career in sunny Leith where I was a response officer for 3 years. I then worked in the community team (SNT) for just over a year. Following this, I went onto Command Support to see a different side of policing and I was there for 18 months. I am now at Portobello Community Team and really enjoying it. I joined this team at 26 and I’m now 30 years old.
Why I applied is a mixture of a lot of different reasons, both my parents were in the Police so in a way it seemed a natural choice. I studied Sport at university and wanted to do a job I could be active in and have a different challenge every day. The application process for me wasn’t easy. Failing once at the maths test and having to wait a year before I could apply again – it was tough. But I took advantage of the time and went back to get 99% in the test I had originally failed.
Getting into the police was one of the best moments of my life, it was a lot of hard work to achieve it and get through the college. I remember my first shift at Leith as being very exciting and like nothing I had ever experienced before. I think up until this point I had a much romanticized view of what being a police officer was. I absolutely love my job but nothing can prepare you for the culture shock.
I love that I get time to see things through from start to finish and get to see the impact of the work I do. When you are a response officer the frequency of jobs you are expected to go to is very high and its often hard to see the positive impact you have had on people’s lives. I really enjoy the team cohesion I get working within the police. There is no other job like it for feeling part of a larger family. There are so many personalities which is a good thing, and it doesn’t matter how different we are when we need to work together and get the job done and stay safe.