One of our emergency call handlers has received a national award celebrating her excellent work.
Justyna Szul has received national recognition at the Inspire Justice Awards after an expert judging panel were wowed by her ability to handle emergency calls in multiple languages.
Not only is she able to calmly manage complex and difficult situations in English, but can smoothly transition to Polish, her first language, during calls, where it is required.
Having joined Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary through our apprenticeship scheme in 2019, Justyna has become an integral part of the call handling team, even supporting colleagues by taking on calls where there is a language barrier and she can assist.
In one such instance, she was passed a call after it was determined the person contacting us would be able to provide better information in Polish. Justyna was able to conduct the call in Polish, while ensuring detailed logs were kept in English and ensuring officers were dispatched to respond to the matter.
Justyna said: "Growing up, I witnessed problems in my community, particularly around domestic abuse, and I wanted to join the police as an emergency call handler to help make the difference I wished I had seen back then.
"The most rewarding thing about my role is those moments where I feel I have really made a difference to someone.
"This could be through listening to them, showing empathy, giving them reassurance that hopefully encourages them to come forward if they experience any issues in the future, as well as getting them the help they need in a time of emergency."
Prior to joining the constabulary, Justyna worked as a teaching assistant, helping students whose second language was English. She had also worked as a ward administrator in the Critical Care department at Southampton General Hospital.
Superintendent Anna Skelton, Contact Management Senior Delivery Manager, said: “As a Polish speaker, Justyna’s achievements must not be underestimated, as dealing with emergency calls in a second language is no easy task.
"She has shown incredible dedication and determination and has worked extremely hard to complete her End Point Assessment having been rewarded with a Distinction.”
We are currently recruiting staff for our contact centre who can provide the care and support given by Justyna and her colleagues to people.
If you are interested in finding out more, you can do so here.