GMPeople: meet the officer still working to keep you safe 32 years on
Main article content
A former neighbourhood officer of 20 years who now works with people who may be involved in extremism or terrorism is celebrating 32 years of working to help make Greater Manchester a safer place.
PC David Bull reached his 32-year milestone at the end of last month and has seen him spend almost 20 years as a neighbourhood officer in Oldham before moving to Counter Terrorism Policing North West as a Prevent officer 12 years ago.
The 53-year-old from Oldham joined the force at 21 after knowing he wanted to "help people" and even walked to his local police station in Chadderton every day.
He said: "I joined the police after leaving school because I always knew I wanted a job where I could help people. Knowing you're helping people gets you through some days.
"It's easy to forget but as a police officer, you help people every single day."
David moved between various roles as an officer for the Oldham neighbourhood team before moving to CTU as a Prevent officer where he works alongside partners to safeguard and work with those who may be involved in terrorism or extremism.
"I really enjoyed all those years at Oldham - the biggest thing that's changed since I joined the force is technology.
"We used to have to handwrite everything which is a crazy thought. I still often drive past the place where I attended my first ever incident - a road traffic collision where two cars collided at traffic lights and I had to direct traffic. I can remember it like it was yesterday.
"I moved to Counter Terrorism for a change in career after many years working in neighbourhood. I now work with partners and provide them with awareness and ways to spot the signs if someone may or may not be involved in terrorism or extremism. It's about educating them and seeing how we can intervene.
"I do community inputs and presentations and work with individuals and partners across Oldham and Tameside. It's a very varied role and no two days are the same which is why I've always enjoyed being a police officer.
"These 32 years have flown by - I can't believe it's been so long!"
Every year thousands of reports from the public help police tackle the terrorist threat. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and ACT by reporting to police in confidence at gov.uk/ACT.
Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it could save them. Action Counters Terrorism. Remember, in an emergency, always dial 999.