Jenny Richards joined the Centre in 2018 through her role with West Midlands Police and became a member of the Steering Group. Here Jenny reflects on her time at CPRL...
"After 19 years in policing, I made the decision earlier this year, to hang up my police hat, and move on to pastures new. I have not fallen far from the policing tree, taking up a position as a Lecturer in Policing with the University of Derby.
Surprisingly, to me and others, this was an easy decision to make. Since 2017 I have been working closely with universities, thinking about research, and commissioning it in my role as Evidence-Based Practice Manager at West Midlands Police. I have always enjoyed learning and was excited as I started to see the depth of research knowledge out there related to policing, and the potential to improve the way we police through knowledge exchange and application. Some of my first questions were ‘How did I not know this was out there’ and ‘Why had I not been encouraged to look at this and utilise it’? My mission became clear to me, learn, create, pass on knowledge, and generate enthusiasm for this, to improve how we police.
Discovering CPRL was a lighthouse in the swirling fog of everyday policing. Finding like-minded people from other forces with a passion for knowledge, and a great group of academics with a wealth of experience applying many different disciplines to policing from numerous angles, I felt like I had found the place I wanted to be!
Since joining the Centre in 2018, I have been exposed to so many ideas, great pieces of research, and thought-provoking discussion and debate, that my learning has increased exponentially. I started to realise that I felt more connected to CPRL than I did to policing as my knowledge and involvement in the Centre grew. My best days were CPRL days!
Applying for my role at Derby, I recognised that I was continuing my mission from a different angle. I now have an amazing opportunity to learn more, get involved in creating research, pass on my knowledge of operational policing and research, generating enthusiasm for this approach in prospective and student officers.
I feel privileged to have worked as a police officer, and immensely proud of my time with CPRL. The Centre has helped me to grow, inducted me into the world of academia and research, and set me off on a new course to achieve my mission!
Thank you for having me!" Jenny Richards