Yesterday West Midlands Police opened their doors to new volunteer police officers.
Recruitment into the force's Special Constabulary has opened for the first time in four years as they seek to boost the number to support both day to day policing, as well as major events coming in the region over the next few years.
Chris Thurley, Assistant Director in People and Organisation Development, at West Midlands Police, said: "Our special constables are a huge part of the West Midlands Police family. Last year they volunteered over 30,000 hours to support the service we offer the public.
"They are integral members of our neighbourhood teams, our front line response teams, helping to support our most vulnerable victims in Public Protection, Force CID, Operations, Motorway Policing − the opportunities are endless.
"Now we are looking to increase our number as we gear up for some of the biggest events to be seen in the West Midlands, like Coventry becoming City of Culture in 2021 and, of course, Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022."
It's the force's first step towards getting ready for the Commonwealth Games in four years' time and volunteers − in various roles − will play a huge part in a delivering safe, secure and enjoyable event.
West Midlands Police want specials and volunteers from all of the diverse communities across the West Midlands.
Head of WMP's Special Constabulary, Mike Rogers, a lawyer and property developer, said:
"When I signed-up, the specials operated pretty much as a separate police force doing their own patrols and working on their own projects but we've come a long way since then and now the Special Constabulary works side-by-side with regular officers, supporting the force as part of the mainstream policing mix.
"It sounds clichéd but no two shifts are the same: you never know what you'll encounter, there's a chance to get involved in operations, it looks good on the CV, and helps expand and develop your skills."
To become a special constable you should be prepared to train hard in your own time during evenings and weekends and be willing to offer a minimum of 16 hours per month to perform the role.
Full training and support is offered to ensure you are prepared and fully equipped.
Specials have the same powers as regular officers and wear the same uniform; hours are flexible but they are required to volunteer a minimum of four hours each week, or more if they can spare the time.
Closing date for applications to join the Special Constabulary is Sunday 6 May 2018.
For more information about becoming a special with West Midlands Police, visit the careers portal.