It has been just over one year since PC 392 Jonathan Parchment graduated from training to operational duty as part of the RCIPS 2018 Recruit Class. He says that while the job has had its challenges, he has no regrets about his choice to become a police officer.
“It’s a career that I love,” he says. “Even though things might be high pressure at times, I still look forward to coming to work every single day.”
PC Parchment was born and raised in Cayman, splitting his time between Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman in his younger years. He grew up surrounded by police officers, with several members of the police service in his family, including his father and uncles. Policing was something he always knew he wanted to do in order to be in a position to help make his community a better place.
He first applied to the police service as a teenager without success, but after spending a few more years on personal development and gaining career experience, he applied successfully in late 2017. In February of 2018 PC Parchment began training with his fellow recruits and on 14 June, after seventeen weeks of initial training, the class graduated to operational duty, beginning a two year probationary period of on-the-job training and development.
Last month, almost a year later, he attended the graduation ceremony for the first RCIPS Recruit Class of 2019, and found himself remembering what it was like to be in their shoes.
“When I saw the new class I saw myself in a lot of them,” he says. “They were still in that phase of excitement and wanting the chance to get out there and go out on patrol and respond to reports. But even though they’ve complete recruit training, there will still be times when they’ll find themselves dealing with situations they couldn’t have anticipated.”
PC Parchment has spent the past year working out of the Central George Town Police Station as a front line shift officer, assisting in conducting patrols, responding to calls for service, and completing case files in the busiest district on the island. He says that, unlike in a classroom, you never know what to expect when you’re out on the road. Situations can escalate quickly and almost without warning. However, his training always forms the basis for his response.
Looking back to when he first commenced operational duties, he says he’s become a lot more confident since his early days on patrol. This shift came from combining what he learned during the recruit course with a year of experience on the front line.
“Just in this year I’ve dealt with so many things in terms of scenarios and offenses,” he says. “I definitely feel like I’ve done a lot in the short time I’ve been an officer, and been able to develop quickly. But I still have a lot to learn, and a lot more to experience.”
A large part of his development has also come from being able to rely on the constant support of his colleagues and team leaders, who must both give advice and direction to probationers like PC Parchment, and allow them the freedom to make their own decisions and assessments.
“Jonathan has a lot of potential as a young officer,” says Sergeant Antonio Hanna, who supervises PC Parchment’s shift. “He’s always keen to learn, always asks questions when he doesn’t know something, and always meets his deadlines. If he continues to excel and grow he can go a long way in the service.”
“Although I had my difficulties at first, I listened, observed, and kept my head straight and was able to make it through,” says PC Parchment.
He says that if the newest class of recruits, who are now just over a month into their operation duty, follow the same strategy, they will be able to have success as police officers. Whenever PC Parchment works with them, he tries to give them advice and support, just like his team does for him.
“If I observe a younger probationer struggling with something, I try to help them out if I can, because I know how it feels to be in that spot, and what a good feeling it is to have someone step up and offer different ways to handle it.”
Aside from his career, the most important part of PC Parchment’s life is his family. As a husband, and a father to five children, he takes his responsibilities very seriously.
“Part of why I chose this career is because I wanted to be able to support my family, and to develop myself so that I have more to offer and to pass on to my children.”
Although it is often difficult to balance his job as a police officer with his role as a father, he says that what helps him to manage everything is to remember all the reasons he does what he does.
“This job requires discipline, it keeps you mentally strong, and those are the things that I want to pass on to my children, along with making the community safer for them.”
With less than a year left in his probationary period, PC Parchment says that his focus now is on continuing to develop himself as an officer so that he can be a great contribution to whichever department he serves in next. For him that means developing his leadership skills and his time management and organizational skills, in order to become as well-rounded as possible.
“I want to be in a position and at a level where I can help others to reach the standards necessary to become great police officers.”
If he had to choose which department he would move into after his probation is complete, he says it would be either the Criminal Investigation Department, or the Joint Crime Task Force. But, he says, he wants to experience everything the service has to offer.
“The main things I’ve learned in my time in the service are to always stay focused, keep on top of your work, and to not be afraid to ask questions or take advice,” PC Parchment says. “The best advice I can give to anyone just starting out is to have your goal in mind and to focus on it from day one. Don’t be afraid to let everyone around you know what you want to achieve in your career.”
by Mikhail Campbell, Media Relations Officer