Life as a Contact Officer
“I wanted to join an organisation that helped others and acted with professionalism in its work. I also enjoy challenges which I knew my role would provide.” Freddie, Contact Officer
For many people, our Contact Officers are the first point of contact with the police, whether it’s over the phone or by email. Our Force Contact, Command and Control Department isn’t a call centre, it’s the start of our front line.
A vital role within the organisation, you’ll handle a huge variety of emergency 999 calls, non-emergency 101 calls, online and social media communications. The situations you’ll be faced with are as diverse as the communities we serve and you’ll be engaging with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Our Contact Officers need to be able to strike the right balance between showing empathy with every caller, while not becoming emotionally involved when dealing with sometimes difficult circumstances.
Based at Sussex Police Headquarters, on the outskirts of Lewes, the normal working week for contact officers is 37 hours per week in shifts which cover 24/7 on a rotating shift pattern. This does include evenings, weekends and bank holidays, for example:
- Two early shifts – 07:00 to 17:00 or 09:00 to 19:00.
- Two late shifts – 13:00 to 23:00 or 15:00 to 01:00.
- Two night shifts – 19:00 to 03:00 or 23:00 to 07:00.
- Four rest days.
We also recognise the benefits of flexible working and are committed to equality of opportunity and the promotion of work-life balance. After completion of the full-time training programme, we will support opportunities for part-time and flexible working within the organisation, where practical and suitable, to promote a work-life balance and enable the recruitment and retention of a workforce which is representative of the diverse communities we serve.
To hear what life is really like as a contact officer, watch the videos below.