When a friend recommended life as a Special to Benjamin McGowan, he seized the opportunity to step outside of his comfort zone.
A member of cabin crew by day based at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Benjamin joined the Force as a Special Constable two years ago, aged 18.
He explains: “I wanted to get more out of volunteering within the community, and after a friend mentioned being in the special constabulary, how dynamic it was and the opportunities for growth and development, I applied and was accepted.
“It was also something different and adventurous, where I could build my confidence and knowledge.”
Benjamin has enthusiastically embraced the role, and enjoys the diversity it can offer.
He added: “Community engagement is one of my favourite parts of the job - getting to meet members of the public and promote our amazing values at Merseyside and really showing the communities that we are there for them no matter what, as well as assisting visitors to the city.
“I also enjoy the challenge of dealing with incidents with both special and regular colleagues.
“The ability to make the initial enquiries in an investigation into suspected crimes, and to deal with members of the public while making decisions that ensure everyone’s safety is a very rewarding part of the job.
“Every day is so varied, I could be working at the airport one day providing a high visibility presence and helping with incidents happening there, or I could be deployed with Response and Resolution working with a regular colleague to attend emergency call, with blue lights and sirens. The next day I might be working with local policing tackling neighbourhood issues like speeding or anti-social behaviour, or providing reassurance to victims of crime following an incident.”
Furloughed from his day job as a member of cabin crew for a well-known UK carrier, Benjamin has worked more hours as a Special in recent weeks.
He added: “I have been supporting the force’s response to the pandemic, based out of Headquarters in Liverpool city centre and being deployed to strategic areas, while still trying to be as proactive as possible to deter criminality.
“Some types of crime have decreased while others have increased. Myself and colleagues have all taken this in our stride and I think we have adapted to the changes well. The commitment from all officers in the special constabulary has been amazing.” #NationalVolunteersWeek