Derbyshire Police Federation

Get to know your Federation reps: Paul Russell

3 June 2021

PC Paul Russell is a Derbyshire Police Federation workplace representative currently working on the Rural Crime Team.

Most people know him as ‘Rusty’ but officers who joined with him still call him Jack. His childhood nickname of ‘Jack’ was lost at an early stage of his career when he was marched into the CID office at Peartree Station to stand before the then deputy sergeant, Jack Russell, who insisted that he find a new nickname. 

Paul, who is also member of the Federation’s Branch Board, has been a Federation member since he joined the police 28 years ago. He decided to put himself forward as a rep around five years ago, after seeking support from the Federation in relation to the pension changes and found that, at that time, most of the reps were older serving officers unaffected by the changes who he felt didn’t really provide the support or answers he needed. 

“I didn’t think the Federation truly reflected the breadth of officers across the Force so I wanted to become a rep myself,” he says, adding: “I believe the Federation is moving in the right direction and is steadily becoming more diverse and representative of its membership.”

Paul says he enjoys being there for his colleagues, as a Federation rep, but acknowledges the role definitely comes with its challenges.

“It’s not been easy at times,” he added, “But I like supporting people. It’s amazing that even the simple things can make such a difference to people.”

“A lot of people don’t know who to turn to, I’ve been there. I like to help people who are in the same position.”

He has a wealth of experience in the Force, having worked in uniform at Derby for nine years before specialising as a local intelligence officer, a football intelligence officer and also working within surveillance. Paul returned to frontline uniformed duties after 15 years of specialist roles and understands how easy it is to become deskilled and lose touch with frontline policing.   

He says he feels passionately about strengthening the relationship between members and the Federation as his role continues and would like to see younger serving members and a more diverse dynamic involved as reps. Paul is considering standing as Derbyshire’s Federation chair and sees better engagement with members as a priority moving forward.

“I want to help ensure the Federation is meeting the needs and wants of our members,” he added, “I want to build confidence and reassurance but unfortunately until officers need the Federation they don’t often recognise its value.”

Paul would like to invite members thinking about becoming reps to speak with him or any of his peers.

A series of election cafés have been held by the national Federation with the aim of giving members the chance to find out more about the role of a Federation rep and the Derbyshire branch is holding its own online event on 22 June with chair Tony Wetton, secretary Kirsty Bunn, Paul and fellow workplace representative Bekki Smith taking part.

More details will be announced later but contact Kirsty at Kirsty.bunn@polfed.org to find out more.

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