One of Nottinghamshire’s newest cops has revealed his “burning desire” to become the county’s first Black chief constable.
PC Junior Grant said he couldn’t be happier to be at Nottinghamshire Police and revealed his goal is to one day lead the force.
The 26-year-old, who became a fully-fledged police officer during a passing out ceremony on Friday, said: “I am very, very ambitious. I’ve got this burning desire to become Nottinghamshire Police’s first Black chief constable.
“Even though I’ve only just finished training school, I’m convinced I can get there and the hard work to achieve that goal begins now.
“The work the police do is fantastic and I want to be part of it. I’m here to work hard, chase my ambitions and do what I was born to do.”
The Nottingham-born cop applied to join the police after closing a gym he co-owned in Lenton to pursue his childhood dream.
He said: “Closing the gym felt like a big relief as I wanted to become a cop so badly. I began by watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts about what you need to have to be a police officer and I thought I have all those qualities.”
He duly applied to Nottinghamshire Police and described finding out his application had been a success as “the happiest day of my life”.
He said: “I was in the gym when an email pinged up on my phone with the news. I was so happy and couldn’t stop smiling – everyone was coming over to me to say congratulations. It was the happiest day of my life, without a doubt.”
The new officer said he’d wanted to be part of the police since childhood as he wanted to make a difference in local communities.
He said: “I grew up in Sneinton which is an impoverished area. Unfortunately there was a lot of drugs, poverty, sex trafficking etc. Growing up, I saw a lot of struggle and that made me not want to waste my potential. I wanted to do something with my life and in doing so inspire others to do likewise.
“I grew up poor so if I can make something of my life, it’s showing others in a similar position in that area that they can do the same.
“I want to change people’s mentality. Just because you’ve had an unfortunate start in life, it doesn’t mean you can’t go on to bigger and better things.”
The former Colonel Frank Seely Academy pupil was among 46 new officers who took part in a pass out parade at force HQ yesterday – including 37 police constables and nine PCSOs – having completed their training programmes.
They will now be dispatched to policing teams across the country, with PC Grant joining the Response team at Eastwood.
Asked what local people can expect from him, PC Grant said: “A big aspect of policing is being able to talk to people and I love talking to people. I’ve always believed your mouth is your best weapon, so when I’m confronted by disorder I’ll be looking to use my speaking skills in order to help calm that situation.”
Now that he’s fulfilled his ambition of becoming a police officer, PC Grant said another of his goals was to upturn any negative perceptions of the police service.
“Growing up, a lot of people in Sneinton felt negatively about the police and some people living there today might feel the same, as there’s still a bit of crime there,” he said. “I want to change people’s mindset by saying ‘we’re here to protect people – if you want to be a drug dealer, you could harm someone and that’s why our job is to stop you’.”
He gave a poignant example of why it is important for police to crackdown on drug-related crime.
He said: “When I was young, one of my closest friends suddenly stopped playing out. I wondered what had happened to him and it turned out his parents had become addicted to hard drugs. He therefore had to go into care and who knows what became of him.
“Drugs affect children in communities – a lot of people forget that and it’s part of the reason Nottinghamshire Police and other forces must continue to clampdown on drug-related crime and indeed all types of crime.”
Chief Constable Craig Guildford, who oversaw yesterday’s passing out parade, said: “This must be a very proud moment for PC Grant and his family and I am delighted to welcome him into the force.
“His passion and enthusiasm for policing is wonderful to see and he is already showing a tremendous amount of promise. He’s certainly one to watch!
“It was fantastic to welcome dozens more officers into our ranks. This is exactly what communities want and what we need operationally and I’m very happy that we are continuing to create local jobs for local people across Nottinghamshire.”
Nottinghamshire Police provides a variety of routes into policing in order to attract talented and dedicated candidates, whatever their background.