Chief Officer Stephen Merrett

  1. Why did you want to become a Special?

In 1993 when I left the Army I applied to join SYP, it was a two process and 86 started and two of us got through. I then failed the interview, one of the reasons was for showing no emotion in my voice, I was gutted, of course the bills had to be paid so I went off and did transport and logistics. Much later on in life, I had the capacity to be able to recommit to SYP and contribute to neighbourhood policing, albeit in a voluntary role, such was my desire to be a Police Officer in South Yorkshire Police.

  1. How long have you been a Special?

I joined the Special Constabulary on the 15th November 2005, so this year I will have qualify for the Special Constabulary Long service Medal.

  1. Why do you enjoy being a Special?

Being able to contribute to the policing of the communities within South Yorkshire, alongside our regular colleagues in making a visible difference to protect the vulnerable.

  1. What sort of work do you get to do?

As Chief Officer, my work is all strategic and in positioning the Special Constabulary to assist the Chief Constable with operational policing. I take great pride in ensuring that my officers are trained, deployed and developed to the highest skill levels.

  1. What’s your proudest moment of being a Special so far?

I have two, being sworn in at my Attestation Ceremony and meeting with the Chief Constable on promotion to Chief Officer after only four years' service.

  1. How does being a Special impact on your normal day job / other aspects of your life?

I am in an unenviable position as my day job is working for South Yorkshire Police as the Community Policing Development officer, managing the Special Constabulary project, so it does not impact on anything.

  1. What benefits are there from being a Special within your community (if any)?

Total satisfaction that as a professional and disciplined and uniformed body, we do make a difference.

  1. What would you say to anyone considering being a Special?

The Special Constabulary is not for everybody, hence only 17,500 Specials in England and Wales, but if you do have the capacity in your lives to be able to commit to the initial 14 weeks training and then 16 hours per month, then do it now and join the best forming SC force in England and Wales.