Mark Bussell - Catering Manager and a Special Inspector since 1991
Why did you become a Special?
I was looking to ‘change’ my job as I was in a bit of a rut, although I did like what I was doing. I thought that this would give me a new interest that would mean that I did not have to. As it transpired, I changed my job before becoming a Special but I have found working as a Special very rewarding and interesting. It is very much part of my life now and has helped me become a better person and manager.
How does being a Special fit in with your day job?
I am lucky in that my work has very set parameters. This makes volunteering so much easier. I generally work as a Special on Friday evenings but do a lot of other bits during the week and weekends. It has a lot of transferable skills that have helped me in my day job and people are forever asking my advice on Policing matters or incidents.
What does a typical shift involve?
I am responsible for all Special’s on my section but I still try to get out and patrol as much as possible. This can be working alongside other Specials or more generally with the Regular squad that is on duty. As I tend to work weekends, this usually involves dealing with ASB and night time crime. Having extra officers can make a real difference and means that incidents are dealt with better and safer.
What's been your most exciting experience as a Special so far?
As I have been doing this for over 20 years there have been a lot. You basically can have to deal with whatever happens, including fights and critical incidents. The one that I always mention is when I had to help with a large incident due to an unexploded World War Two bomb that meant thousands of people needed to be evacuated from their homes with a large cordon that needed maintaining. The excitement usually comes afterwards as you are usually too busy and under pressure to feel it at the time.
What skills have you gained as a Special which have helped in your 'outside' life?
I am a lot more confident in having to deal with things that you would generally want to avoid. I am a more rounded person and it has definitely helped my management skills. I am lucky to have such a supportive family that is very proud of what I do. I also get respect from my peers.