The University of Wolverhampton played host to a ceremony with a difference when one of its students swore allegiance to the crown to become a police Special Constable.
BSc Policing undergraduate, Rebecca Edwards, took part in the attestation ceremony at the University’s Millennium Centre in front of fellow students.
The formal ceremony is conducted after initial training to swear specials into office and Rebecca has now started shifts for West Midlands Police, based in Stourbridge.
Special Constables have all the powers of regular officers but are volunteers who, after training, work for a minimum of four hours a week in local communities policing the streets.
Rebecca (22) from Kingswinford in the West Midlands said: “I was nervous prior to the event as it was the first ceremony that the University has held of its type so I was unsure of what to expect but it was a very proud moment, especially as my mum and dad were there to see it too.
“I'm currently stationed at Stourbridge Police Station and I’ve completed three shifts policing the town's nightlife.
“As a special I’m hoping to learn valuable life skills that will hopefully make any future employers impressed with my general attitude to life and to show them that I am a committed individual who is always willing to offer help and assistance to any situation when needed.
“I choose the BSc Policing course as I wanted to join the regulars but since most forces are not recruiting at the moment due to funding, I decided that this specific university course would be the most relevant and rewarding option for me whilst I’m waiting to apply.
“My short term aspirations are to pass my course with a good grade, whilst my long term aspirations are to join the police force and have a successful career.”
Rachael Strzelecki, course leader in policing at the University, said: “Usually ceremonies are held at police headquarters but Rebecca was unable to make it so the force agreed to let us stage the ceremony at the University, which was a huge honour.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever staged such an event here. It was great for Rebecca but also for her fellow policing students who were able to be there and learn from the experience as well.
“All of our students on the policing course sign up as specials. We teach them, in great depth, the laws and legislations that they will need as police officers but they get operational experience in the field as a Special Constable.”
The ceremony was officiated by David Churchill JP and attended by Rebecca’s parents, University Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ann Holmes, Lynn Leighton-Johnstone, Associate Dean of the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications alongside representatives from West Midlands Police.
The BSc (Hons) Policing course is based at the University of Wolverhampton’s City Campus and has been developed alongside West Midlands Police and the National Police Improvement Agency.
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