Discover the right role for you
Devon and Cornwall Police consists of police officers, police staff, police community support officers (PCSOs), Special Constables and volunteers. Every role plays a vital part.
Choosing a career in the police service will give you the kind of rewards and challenges that few other jobs can deliver. Being a police officer is not an easy option – it can be tough and unpredictable but it also one of the most fulfilling roles you will ever have.
Officers work across all areas of the Force to provide protection to the public and prevent crime. This can include:
- being in a neighbourhood teams;
- marine support;
- roads policing;
- child abuse investigation;
- criminal investigation;
- counter terrorism;
- offender management;
- public protection
- and the dog unit.
The work of a police officer is both challenging and diverse.
If you are resourceful, good with people and are able to work under your own initiative you may have exactly what it takes to work with the communities we serve to maintain law and order, protect the public and their property, prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime and improve the quality of life for all citizens.
- Temporary Chief Inspector
- Neighbourhood Beat Manager
- Student Officer
- Armed Response Officer
- Dog Handler
Sara Crane - Temporary Chief Inspector
“Capturing the magic of what it is to be a police officer is difficult to put into words. The feeling of pride that I get when I take a moment to think about my contribution and impact in keeping the local community safe; making a positive difference to people’s lives brings the essence of being a police officer to life. It means I enjoy coming to work today 20 years after I joined as much as I did when I first started!
My career with Devon & Cornwall Police started back in 1995 when I completed my first 2 years as a Student Officer in Newquay, Cornwall gaining loads of experience working 24 hour shifts. In 1997, I successfully applied to participate in a work-sponsored degree at Plymouth University. I did this as well as my job for the next 5 years.
Part way through my degree in 1999 I changed departments to move into the Call Handling and Communications Unit based in Plymouth. During this time I had my first child, negotiating after my maternity leave finished, to return to work 27 hours a week.
In 2001, I studied for and passed my sergeants exam. I also transferred back to Cornwall, this time to the Bodmin area working as a community constable for a number of years. In 2002 I had my second child and graduated from my degree course gaining a BA (Hons) in Criminal Justice. I chose this time to increase my working hours on my return to 32 hours a week.
In 2004, still working reduced hours in Bodmin; I successfully applied for promotion to sergeant. The focus for this new role was in Community Safety and reducing offending behaviour of young people, which for me is a key area of policing. In 2006, I had my third child continuing to work reduced hours (36 hours per week) and took the inspectors promotion exam.
It was only in 2014, I returned to work full time, deciding that I would apply for promotion. I passed the interview and was promoted to Inspector working across Cornwall. Since then I have gained a range of management experience and I’m currently the Temporary Chief Inspector managing resources across East Cornwall.
I have been fortunate that I have been able to balance my working hours whether part, reduced or full time with the needs of my home life over the years”.
PC Robert Dodd – Neighbourhood Beat Manager
“I joined Devon & Cornwall Police seven years ago after spending 20 years working for the Royal Mail. While I loved my role at the Royal Mail, I always wanted to be a police officer. Being part of a team and able to make a difference was what really interested me. Of course, the excitement of no two days being the same was especially appealing.
The first four years were spent as a patrol officer, responding to 999 and immediate calls before moving into neighbourhood policing. My earlier experience with Royal Mail, providing that familiar friendly face had shaped my desire to be part of a local policing team.
Being seen out in uniform in the community, helps building trust and gives people the confidence to talk me. I am passionate about working with partner agencies and local authorities to provide a high level of service. A typical day consists of tackling and preventing crime, and supporting victims and witnesses.
Being on foot patol allows me to spend time with local residents and businesses; understand their concerns and work with them to help solve them.
I love my job - the variety, flexibility and the opportunity to make a real positive difference to people’s life is what really excites me.”
DC Rachael Cheesley - Detective
“I always wanted to join the police as I saw it as an exciting career. I would look at officers and think ‘I can do that’.
I was 18 when I attended an open day at police headquarters in Exeter. Back then, there was a height restriction and I was very disappointed to discover I wasn’t tall enough. I followed a different career path initially in dental nursing before going to university to study Health, Safety and Environmental Management. After graduating I got into recruiting health and safety professionals.
But I still wanted to join the police. By 2003 the rules had changed and where better to do the job I knew I’d love than in Devon and Cornwall where I grew up. I applied and at 5ft 4ins was successful!
I love helping people and have chosen a role that is victim-focused. I’m now a detective specialising in sexual offences and domestic violence. I manage investigations and collate all the evidence; finding solutions frequently takes thinking outside the box. I’m also able to give support to each victim.
The job is very rewarding knowing that you have helped someone through a traumatic and sometimes harrowing incident. It is about doing your best for the victim and the job.”
PC Agata Makowska – Student Officer
“I used to work as a lawyer in Poland where I was born. One day I decided I wanted a new, more dynamic career. I left everything behind and arrived in the UK on my own with £200 in my pocket and a dream of becoming a police officer. Many people told me at the time that I would never make it, that it would never happen for me. Yet, here I am, a student officer with Devon & Cornwall Police.
The role of a police officer is a very demanding one. During a 10-hour shift, I spend 90% of my day on my feet or in a patrol car, rushing from one incident to the next. I never know what I’m going to be sent to. It could be a stolen handbag, missing child, a medical emergency, fatal traffic collision or perhaps someone trying to harm themselves. You always have to think on your feet putting other people's safety and wellbeing first. I always try to support my colleagues who work alongside me and I always look out for them when we're on duty.
I don't regard being a police officer as a job. It's a lifestyle which often involves working through the night, being late home and being on duty when your family and friends are celebrating Christmas and New Year.
However it also involves fantastic opportunities for personal and professional development. In the near future I will be able to choose from a variety of specialist roles, such as a firearms officer, dog handler or detective.
I can't imagine myself doing any other job. No other role provides constant opportunities to meet and work with people of all cultures and backgrounds quite like the role of a police officer.
For me the most important thing about this role is best summed by the Queen and her inscription on the police medal which reads simply: ‘Protect my people’.”
PC Alex Cooper – Armed Response Officer
“I work as an armed response officer within the Operations Department. I’ve been in the police almost 14 years and started my career with the Met in 2001; completing the 18-week initial training at Hendon.
My first posting was Brixton in London where I worked in various teams including response and a proactive robbery team. Wanting a further challenge I became an authorised firearms officer in 2004 and was posted to Heathrow Airport the following year where I worked mainly in their armed response teams.
Born and bred in Devon, I’d loved the lifestyle that living in the West Country brings, and after many years I couldn’t resist the draw of home any longer, and transferred to Devon & Cornwall Police in 2014 as an authorised firearms officer.
Unlike some Forces being an armed response vehicle officer has two roles; firearms and roads policing. This means that I spend my time dealing with incidents requiring my skills as a firearms officer, for example dealing with people in possession of offensive weapons, and also police the major road networks and attend serious road traffic collisions.
I joined the police as, like many other officers, I love the fact that each day brings fresh challenges and you never know what is going to happen next. The variety of work and the opportunities to take differing career paths means that being in the police is a fantastic job, and one which I thoroughly enjoy.”
PC Andi Darbey – Dog Handler
“I’m a dog handler based in Ashburton; although I cover Torbay and the South Hams area. With my crew mate Police Dog Sally, I can be deployed anywhere in Devon and Cornwall.
I come from a farming background and have never been someone to be indoors; I thrive being out in the fresh air. I have also from an early age always had a passion for animals and am fascinated by the unique bond between human and animal.
I have been employed by the Force since 2001. Initially I thought my career would go down the forensic route due to my academic background, and I spent several years within the Scientific Support Unit, first as a receptionist and then as a crime researcher. However, I knew that being a police officer was something I really wanted to do. Becoming a police community support officer was the first step to gaining valuable experience and in 2008 I became a police officer and after much hard work and commitment I got my dream job as a police dog handler.
I joined as a police officer as I needed to be in a job where no two days are the same. You can pretty much guarantee that. On a day-to-day basis I am predominantly with Sally but I am a people person and want to help others.
My role allows me to do something positive that makes a real difference to others, both capturing criminals but being able to assist people in times of crisis.
Our day-to-day work can vary considerably. We may be looking for missing people or vulnerable persons. This may be searching woodland or even tracking away from their home address. We could be involved in public order assisting at football matches or more spontaneous incidents such as a fight. Next we could be tracking away from an abandoned vehicle or a scene of a burglary, possibly searching for stolen property as a result.
What’s not to love about my role? Cold wet mornings out walking my crew mate with no one else around, catching criminals, finding vulnerable missing people, seeing a victim’s pleasure at my dog maybe locating a sentimental item which had been stolen. The list is endless and ever expanding!”