‘Behind the Badge’ gives Harrow residents a chance to learn more about our local police officers that help keep us all safe.
Following on from last months story, this month Harrow Online spoke with PC Matt Looker who is part of the Met’s Emergency Response Team.
1) What is your role?
I am currently part of an Emergency Response Team that parades out of Wembley Police Station. My role is to attend 999/101 calls. These calls could range from a non-crime incident to a murder.
This can be very challenging as you do not know what you are walking in to and all calls require a calm approach, to not only deal with the incident, but to also investigate it.
Working on an Emergency Response Team is a fast-paced environment that requires officers to think on their feet and make decisions on the spot. Sometimes, this can be in life or death situations.
2) How long have you worked for The Met?
I first joined the Met in January 2019 where I started as a PCSO in Hounslow. I always knew I that I wanted to become a PC, so I applied within months of being a Police Community Support Officer and started my Police Officer training in August 2019 at Hendon Training School.
3) What made you want to join?
I joined the Police for multiple reasons, but the main reason that stands out for me is realising I can perform under pressure and help people in the most stressful situations. Unfortunately, a colleague in a previous employment had a heart attack in front of me.
I performed CPR along with a few other colleagues until the ambulance arrived. I discovered at this time that I can handle being under pressure and work through it, despite the mental challenges it poses. When deliberating my career choices, I thought of this scenario and it reminded me of job roles that required such skills, such as the police.
I did some research and discovered that within the police, every day there’s a new situation that requires this mentality which drove me to applying and utilising these skills to help more people.
4) What is the most difficult part of your job?
The most difficult part of the job for me is seeing and dealing with truly heart-breaking situations, and having no choice but to try and put your own personal feelings aside to stay professional. As I previously mentioned, on Emergency Response our duty is to rush to people who need us the most when they’ve called 999 for help.
Sometimes, this means being placed in someone’s world that has just been turned upside down from a horrific event. Whether that be a devastating assault, sudden death, stabbing or worse. As officers, it is then our duty to be fully immersed in this event so we can to everything possible to help.
But, at the end of the day, we are still human and what we’ve seen, done, heard in that challenging shift will more than likely stay with us for the rest of our lives. “Hanging it up in the locker” at the end of the shift is something that takes time and experience to perfect.
5) What is the best part of your job?
The best part of the job I believe has got to be knowing that your colleagues will be there if you ever need them. This could be from personal issues to being assaulted on duty.
It is very common for officers to be in dangerous situations, in fact I’d say it can be a daily occurrence, but you know as soon as you press your emergency button on your radio you will have officers running to your side in an instant.
It doesn’t matter about gender, ethnicity, race or religion – you join a family when you join the police.