Derby College has become the first Derbyshire organisation to join the Employer Supported Policing scheme in 2018.
Under the scheme local employers support staff who want to volunteer with the police.
In joining, the College has expanded on its existing links with the local Force, with Public Services students’ regularly gaining practical experience through supporting police training exercises.
Employer Supported Policing is a partnership between companies, their staff and the police which promotes the roles of special constables and police support volunteers.
Companies and workers benefit from the scheme through access to police training and the development of new skills through their experiences on duty.
Employees give something back to the wider community, while the police benefit from closer ties to the communities and organisations in Derbyshire.
Firms that sign up to the scheme allow their staff to be trained as volunteers and provide them with paid leave to undertake police duties.
Derby College currently has three members of staff who volunteer their time in the Derby Special Constabulary.
They include Sarah Smith who joined 14 years ago and is a Work Experience Officer at the College – coordinating placements and workplace visits for students on the Public Services study programme based at Broomfield Hall.
Sarah said: “I originally joined in my early Twenties with a view to then applying for a full time job with the police.
“However, I enjoyed the Special Constabulary so much that I decided to stay in a voluntary role and combine it with my job at the College.
“I love being part of the Specials’ team at Derbyshire and the work is very varied from supporting officers on special operations to administrative tasks in my most recent role as Acting Special Sergeant.
“Derby College is very supportive of my role with the Special Constabulary and I am delighted that this has now been formalised through the Employer Supported Policing scheme.”
Derby College Group Chief Executive Mandie Stravino continued: “As a major employer in the city and county, we are committed to supporting our staff with the work they do in our local communities.
“Derbyshire police and the work of the Special Constabulary provide vital services across the county and this is a very worthwhile scheme which will hopefully encourage more individuals and their employers to follow suit.”
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Haward is the Chief Officer lead for volunteering in the East Midlands.
He concluded: “I’m very pleased that Derby College has joined the Employee Supported Policing scheme.
“Having Special Constables from all walks of life with a wide range of experience is critical to Derbyshire Constabulary being representative of our communities.
“In return the College staff will benefit from the training and development in the valuable skills and experience we provide our volunteers.
“I’m sure the Special Constables employed by Derby College will act as role models, promoting good citizenship to young people and preparing them for successful adulthood.”