Northamptonshire Police has eight new Police Community Support Officers on the beat across the county.
The latest batch includes a former funeral director, security officer, marketing co-ordinator, food production operative, retail assistant and swimming coach all swapping careers to sign up for Chief Constable Nick Adderley's increased focus on neighbourhood policing.
PCSOs Dan Skevington and Rea Abbott-Huckin will become familiar faces around Northampton town centre with Danni Morgan and Chris Dudley joining them on the West Local Policing Area based at Brackley and Towcester.
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In the North Local Policing Area, Kev Rowlatt and Adam Ross will be based in Wellingborough, Linda Green joins the East Northamptonshire team and Hannah Smith will serve communities in and around Kettering.
Local Policing Commander, Chief Superintendent Ash Tuckley said: “Our PCSOs are valued members of our local neighbourhood policing teams and play an important role as they’re our eyes and ears within our local communities.
“Joining the PCSOs will be a number of new recruits and more experienced police officers, who have joined our neighbourhood teams over the last few months, as part of the increase in neighbourhood officers announced earlier this year.”
All eight PCSOs went through seven weeks of training on understanding the law and legislation, the role of the neighbourhood policing team, the use of police IT systems and first aid, as well as information on specialist policing areas and external partners and agencies before joining their new colleagues.
PCSO Danni Morgan said: “The neighbourhood policing team provides a vital link between the Force and our local communities.
"Being more visible and accessible in the community means residents get to know us and we can often be a friendly, familiar face for residents to speak to.
“Response officers deal with the immediate incident, whereas as a member of the neighbourhood policing team, we can spend more time addressing the underlying issue, which matter the most to our local communities.”
PCSO Kev Rowlatt added: “I am a former special so working as a PCSO will allow me the time to build these important relationships within the community and in turn make them a safer place to be.”
As well as increasing the number of officers, Northamptonshire Police has bolstered neighbourhood teams' resources with four new Skoda Octavia patrol cars.
The vehicles will allow officers to offer greater support and a more visible and accessible service to local communities.
Northamptonshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. Stephen Mold. said: “People tell me time and again how much they value the work that PCSOs do in their communities.
“PCSOs are a vital part of the new focus on neighbourhood policing that I want to see across Northamptonshire and I was delighted to meet these new recruits and see their enthusiasm to get stuck into their new roles.”