Jools Reavill is one of many supervisors within the Force Control Room. She spends each shift overseeing calls, making decisions on resourcing incidents and supervising staff members in the control room.
Here’s an insight into her role and why she loves the job.
"I’ve been working in the Force Control Room for 23 years. I spent three years as a call taker, 17 years as a police dispatcher and have been a supervisor for four years and love every minute of it.
I spent my whole life knowing I wanted to work for the police. I wanted to be frontline involved but didn’t want to be a police officer, so I decided to be a call taker to help in a different way.
Working in the control room is far from working in a call centre. You are very frontline in this role because you are the first person that someone will speak to when they call the police. They will be in distress; they will be angry, and you have to deal with all of that when you pick up a call.
As a supervisor in the control room, I oversee a lot of the calls coming in with the Inspector. What I do can change minute-by-minute and I could go from providing support to our staff, to mentoring them and helping to nurture their skills, to making big decisions on how we’re going to resource incidents when they come in.
It’s a huge responsibility to make sure that the public are getting the service that they need from us, but it’s become second nature to me and it’s something I’d quite happily keep on doing until I retire.
Everyday really is different. No two days are ever the same and you have no idea what it’s going to be when you answer a call. Some days, it can be a day where you’re dealing with lots of missing people, some days it can be firearms-related incidents and you can never fully prepare for it.
You need to be ready to deal with anything and also be prepared for the heavy impact that shift working can have on your personal life. I’ve worked in the control room for two decades now and my family still don’t fully understand that I need to sleep in during the day after a night shift!
It’s a fast-paced role. Some incidents can be really quite emotional, so being able to separate your own emotions from what you’re dealing with is also key.
It’s a stressful job but highly rewarding and it’s always amazing to see when the whole shift pulls together to support each other. The banter and camaraderie I have with the people I work with is really special. I also really like the fact that once your working day is over, you can switch off entirely and there’s nothing hanging over you. You get to start fresh every time you come back to work.
If you feel like it’s a career you’d love to start, but you’re not quite sure, we’re here to support you. Unless you try, you’re never going to know what it’s like.
You have to have personal resilience to be able to work in the control room and if you’re one of those people who thrive in the unknown, then this job is for you.
If the love is there, and if you feel this is what you’d like to do, come and join our team. We’ll be waiting for you!"