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New Chief Constable says Bedfordshire Police is like a “big family”

Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst

Bedfordshire’s new chief constable said he became a police officer because he fancied doing something “more exciting” than mainstream employment.

Trevor Rodenhurst, who was the force’s deputy, was formally approved by the county’s Police and Crime Panel last week (12 December).

On his career in policing he said: “I just fancied doing something a bit more exciting than what was perhaps the more normal mainstream employment.

“It was one of those cases where I didn’t really think about a lifelong career in the police.

“I’d left university and I fancied doing this for a while, and here I am 28 and a half years later,” he said.

The chief wasn’t following a family tradition, and his family was “really supportive” with his choice of career.

“I guess in some ways they were just pleased that I had found a career and was off doing things and being self-sufficient,” he said.

The CC started his police service at Hertfordshire Police, and he “thoroughly enjoyed” working across the county in many different roles, but why Hertfordshire?

“I was dating someone who had studied biology and at that time all the pharmaceutical companies were in Hertfordshire,” he said.

“That didn’t work out, but that drew me there, and I stayed there for a good few years.”

The CC progressed in policing by holding commands in specialist areas.

“You’re not just managing an organisation [or department], you’re building crime-fighting capability and that is really important,” he said.

“You [also] have to be quite politically savvy because you’ve got lots of people with a view of ‘oh, what do I get out of this?’

“It’s really important to be able to understand everyone’s needs and also highlight the importance of those needs.

“Leading those kinds of teams was a privilege, and coming into Bedfordshire in a core policing role at a senior level, that was never my plan.

“I can assure you each rank over the recent years has maybe surprised me as much as the next person,” he confessed.

“But it just feels right here, everything happens in Bedfordshire that you can expect to happen in policing anywhere across the country.

“The force is of a size where you can actually deploy quite a lot of resources when you need to, but it’s also of a size where you can know everybody.

“That’s the kind of organisation that I want to be part of, I’m quite family-based and this is a big family, it’s a good place,” he said.

That’s his work family, but what about the one at home? Being a police officer can have a massive impact on family life.

How does he do a stressful and demanding job and still spend quality time with his family?

“I think a lot of us didn’t get the balance right,” he said.

“I had my family late in life, and even though I work long hours now, I think it would have been harder to have had a young family when I was doing surveillance and other things than doing the role I do now,” he said.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter



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