Say hello to Response Officer PC Coulter. We caught up with Dan ahead of Response Policing Week (24th June), to find out more about his time at TeamNP.

What is your current role at TeamNP and when did you join the force?

I joined in March 2021 on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme. Since then, I’ve worked as a response officer in Gateshead and have also completed attachments with the Newcastle Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Gateshead Neighbourhood Team. Since April this year, I’ve been in my current role as a rural response officer.

What do you enjoy the most about being a response officer?

I enjoy the variety of jobs I get to attend, working with a smaller proactive team of officers who always back each other up. Working in rural is different to being in the “toon” – but it’s certainly not quiet. The roads I get to drive on in my patch are very enjoyable, especially with the blue lights and sirens!

The most rewarding part of being a response officer is knowing that you’re able to help people in their time of need, keeping the vulnerable safe and seeing victim satisfaction when you’re able to help them, solve their crime or guide and support them through an incident.

Why did you join TeamNP?

In 2014, I graduated from Manchester Met University with a degree in Drama and went on to achieve a diploma in Musical Theatre from the London School of Musical Theatre in 2016 before becoming a Teaching Assistant in a special educational needs school. You may be wondering how this experience translates into my current role? Improvising is applied a lot more to the role of an officer than you might think and learning the police caution was like learning a script, I feel I was well prepared for remembering that.

Policing was the only other career I could ever see myself doing. When I applied post-pandemic, I was looking for a stable career that I could see myself in for the rest of my working life. There are so many pathways and development opportunities to explore at TeamNP, so it seemed like a fantastic choice.

What skills do you think are most important when becoming an officer?

Being able to listen to people, colleagues, and the public, is vital. You will work with and meet so many different people and it’s important to understand what they are trying to communication. It’s also important to be patient. Some jobs you attend will require more attention to detail and patience than others, and sometimes this can be the difference between a conviction or not.

Being an officer can take a huge amount of focus, and sometimes you’ll need to shift that focus from one job to another very quickly. It’s important that you know how to manage your energy levels, including sleeping and eating to maintain that focus – don’t just rely on energy drinks! When it comes to your academic studies alongside your duties, time management is your friend. Don’t leave things until last minute and give yourself the time you need to focus on it. The university and training staff and supervision are very helpful, and they’re always there to support you if you’re struggling.

What advise would you give to someone looking to join TeamNP?

Take every opportunity you can! Development and training opportunities early in your career will help you in your day-to-day responsibilities and give you the confidence to deliver different duties to the best of your abilities. In May 2023 I passed my blue light response driving course, my greatest achievement to date. This allows me to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies, and a lot of time be first on scene providing service to vulnerable people in their time of need.

Most importantly, speak to people with more experience than you, who’s footsteps you’ll follow in. The more elements of the job you’re open to getting involved in, the more you will learn, and you might find yourself drawn into a career in the force you didn’t previously consider.

Being a response officer is just one of the 50+ specialist roles you could consider at TeamNP.

Play to your strengths. Find out more about kickstarting your career as a police officer.