Cumbria Constabulary is looking for motivated individuals to help prevent crime and disorder and keep Cumbria safe. They are currently recruiting for Police Constables with Open Evenings being held across the county over the next few weeks. We've spoken with Aimee Ross of Cumbria Constabulary to find out what it takes.....

Name: Aimee Ross

Job title: Authorised Firearms Officer – Mobile Support Group

Employer: Cumbria Constabulary

Age: 26

Where from, where work: Workington, West Cumbria

How long have you done the job?
I have worked as a police officer for Cumbria Constabulary for four and a half years, however most recently as a firearms officer for approximately four months.

Take us through a typical day.
Every day is different, as well as being a support to response officers, I also have to be ready to deploy to firearms incidents and serious road traffic collisions at any time across the county. A typical day for an AFO starts by arming up, checking weapons and our vehicles ready to deploy to any incident. One of our main focus is roads policing, however we assist in dealing with violent offenders, minor road traffic collisions, drink/drug drivers or anything that may require our specialist needs alongside being an operational support. We can be deployed to spontaneous or planned firearms incidents at any moment, where the threat level is so high it requires an armed response. We are also involved in a lot of pre-planned events throughout the county such as Appleby Horse Fair, Keswick Christian Convention and other crowed-based events, to act as a deterrent due to the current terrorism threat level. We could also be deployed to other parts of the country should a terror attack occur or threat level heighten. We also do a lot of firearms training involving development shooting and tactics to keep us up to date.

What do you like most about your work?
I like the varied and challenging jobs I attend every day, helping vulnerable people and those in need. This isn’t a job for everyone, as some of the things we see and do are hard to deal with however it is a very rewarding job in which I am proud to do.

What do you like least?
Shift work can take a toll on your family and social life, working long unsociable hours including weekends. I usually don’t mind however sometimes during festive periods, like Christmas, it can be more difficult. I have understanding family and friends who know that sometimes I can’t always be there. We also see and deal with jobs that most of society never see or hear of which can be challenging at times.

Why did you want to do this job?
I wanted a challenging career, one which I could see myself doing for the rest of my working life and develop skills as I go. I enjoy working with people and helping others. I wanted to become a firearms officer as I wanted to push myself and complete the 12 week firearms course which was a challenge in itself, but a very enjoyable and rewarding one.

What jobs have you done previously?
I have worked mainly in retail before joining the police, working in various shops however the most recent job was as a travel agent which I done for four years.

What qualifications or experience do you need in your position?
To become a firearms officer you have to have passed a two year probationary period within the police force which involved achieving a diploma in policing. There are a number of assessments, including a fitness test and assessment day to be considered for the initial firearms course, and then there are a number of assessments throughout the course including qualification shoots to become a firearms officer.

What is a typical salary for your job?
The salary starts at either £20,370 or £23,586 depending on previous experience however goes up to £39,150 through an increment scale.

Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession?
My advice would be if you really want to know what it is like being in the police service, then join the specials to get an idea and experience. This will also put you in a great position when you come to apply. If you’re thinking about a career in firearms then we always welcome attachments with the department to get an idea of what we do.

For more information about this role please click HERE.