Derbyshire Police Federation

Equality lead explains challenges and rewards of being a Federation rep

7 May 2021

PC Tenielle Hardwick says the role of a workplace Federation representative is challenging but one that she loves.

Tenielle became a rep in 2016 and, as one of the Derbyshire Police Federation branch’s equality leads, says her priority is staff satisfaction.

“Work-life balance applications are close to my heart,” Tenielle said, “I know how difficult it is to have children and then wonder how on earth you can juggle children and a full-time job role.

“I’m there to show you what choices you have and how we can make it work for the officer and the Force.”

She added: “It’s challenging. Some jobs you take on can be draining and they don’t get fixed overnight. It can also be frustrating, especially when speaking with management who don’t want to budge on decisions. But if you can help to make it a bit easier and help an officer it’s worth it.

“Even though it’s challenging, I do love it. I probably complete Federation work in around six hours a month.”

Tenielle said she became a Federation rep after seeing that support was not always there for officers who needed it.

“I realised some managers don’t actually know what they need to do to help officers through some of the most difficult times in their careers,” she said, “Whether that be referring them to occupational health or just having a chat.

“I’ve also come across some who don’t seem to care about their staff and again, that’s a sad state of affairs. Everyone I deal with I try to do my best and show staff that there are plenty of ways to fix their issues.”

She added: “I enjoy telling people that it can be sorted out. I will put 100 per cent into helping someone if I know we can as a Force.

“Some people don’t want to listen. I’ve also found that people do some very silly things for whatever reasons. The best thing to do is to be honest and not lie or make excuses. I find that telling the truth to me will always make your life easier.”

Tenielle joined Derbyshire Constabulary in 2003 as a response officer at Cotton Lane. She moved St Mary’s Wharf in 2006 and was seconded to the Major Crime Unit from 2007 to 2009.

She then worked in licensing and on the Safer Neighbourhood Team at Derby City Centre before moving to Clay Cross in 2018 where she worked on reactive and the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Her current role is as a management of sexual or violent offenders’ (MOSOVO) officer in 2020 and she’s now based at Ripley HQ.

“I currently manage violent offenders in prison or out in the community,” she said, “If I’ve learnt one thing in this job it’s there really are bad people everywhere. After 18 years in the job I thought I’d seen it all but I haven’t and it’s opened my eyes.”  

Tenielle said she was attracted to a career in policing by the “fast-paced life of it all”. 

“I also wanted to do a real job where I didn’t have to get up early Monday to Friday,” she said, “Now I’m in that role.

“It may sound a bit cheesy but I do love the job. I always say that being a police officer is the best job in the world, but policing has changed.

“It’s busier and there are fewer officers now on shifts than when I joined. No one has time for each other anymore and that’s sad to see. I’m hoping that it goes full circle and eventually we get back to how it used to be.”

Tenielle said the fact officers were busier than ever was one of the main challenges facing the Force.

“Officers are stressed and tired and there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said, “I know from meetings that I attend that the command structures are really trying to do their best but money and staffing is very low.

“I wouldn’t like to be making the decisions, let’s put it like that.”

  • The Federation’s elections are being held this summer, so if you are interested in being a Federation workplace representative, please find out more by contacting your current rep, the Federation officials or the office.

 

 

 

 

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