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Southwater Police Support Volunteer Profile:

John Jochimsen

John Jochimsen became a volunteer in 1997, aged 67. He explains his motivation for being involved with Sussex Police.

I became a police volunteer in 1997, after my wife had died and I had retired at the age of 67.

I had been a photo journalist all my working life and now I felt that to join the small band of volunteers at the Southwater Police Community Office was a worthwhile way to spend some of my free time – helping local people.

I have now been a volunteer for 11 years and although I took a year off to start writing a book, which has just been published, I have enjoyed the challenge of the job, the camaraderie with the other volunteers and the way it has helped so many of the public over the years.

What I have noticed over time is that some of the public will open up more to a ‘civilian’ who deals with their query than they will to a uniformed officer; in a way they seem to feel more comfortable.

We receive in-house training on our particular volunteer role and some of us older volunteers assist in the training of new recruits.

We act and work exactly the same as any front office staff in the force, being the first to deal with everything from missing children to bombs to lost and found property, etc. In fact we deal with anything that comes our way.

One huge honour for my group of volunteers, which happened in 2006, was winning the Queen’s Award for Volunteers for being the first office run by volunteers anywhere in the UK.

The feeling amongst us all is that over the years we have dealt and helped with nearly every type of situation, and some volunteers have even gained commendations from the force.

I personally feel that is has been an extremely worth while job and I hope to carry on doing my bit for years to come.