An upper Calder Valley section officer has backed a district-wide campaign to sign up more voluntary police officers.
Section officer Omer Ayub, who earlier this month was voted “special constable of the year” at the annual West Yorkshire Policing Awards, said it was a valuable use of his spare time.
Speaking at a recruitment drive at Calderdale College, Section officer Ayub of the Upper Valley NPT, who is an IT manager in his “regular job”, said: “I joined the specials to put something back into the community and use my spare time for a good cause.
“What I find with this unlike other voluntary work is you see the difference you’re making straight away - or soon after. This is an exciting time to join.”
During the event at the college, Calderdale District Commander Chf Supt Angela Williams was joined by colleagues - Specials Liaison Officer and Volunteer Coordinator Alex Langley, Section Officer Ayub and Senior Section Officer Georgina Lord - in promoting the work of volunteer officers and advising potential applicants on what is required.
There are currently 33 specials in Calderdale, while there are 500 across West Yorkshire. The force wants to recruit 1,000 by April 2016 to take the total number to 1,500.
Calderdale District Commander Chf Supt Angela Williams said: “We have had quite a lot of interest. We have not set ourselves any specific targets because we want really committed, good quality candidates who either want to become a special long term or join with a view to becoming a regular.”
Special constables have the same powers as regular police officers, but fulfil the role on a voluntary basis alongside their full-time jobs.
There will be further recruitment events at various locations in Calderdale on April 4, 5 and 6, with information stalls and leaflets.
For more information, call 01924 292222 or visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/recruitment/special-constables