#GMPeople: meet the officer who's swapped blades for boots
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A former Team GB ice hockey player is one of our many officers currently in training to become an PC and make the streets of Greater Manchester a safer place.
Paul Swindlehurst, originally from Bolton, joined GMP two months ago after choosing to chase after criminals instead of pucks following an six-year-long hockey career.
The 28-year-old first started playing for Manchester Storm before playing for various teams such as Dundee Stars, Nottingham Panthers and Belfast Giants - along with international teams including Chicago Blackhawks and Sydney Ice Dogs. Paul also represented Great Britain at both the World Championships and Olympic Qualifiers where he played against Canada, America and Russia.
Paul said: "I was first introduced to ice hockey when I was four. My mum worked with someone who knew a roller hockey coach so I was taken down to see them train."
"I was stood in the sports hall and I'd only ever seen football, rugby and cricket before. The coach asked me what I thought and I knew it was something I wanted to try. I got home from school the next day and my parents bought me the equipment and I began playing at Altrincham ice rink."
Paul first thought about swapping his stick for a baton after meeting and becoming friends with a police officer at a tram stop years ago.
"I first thought about becoming a police officer after meeting and speaking to a police officer years ago at a tram stop because they were looking for a missing child.
"I remember thinking how interesting it would be to be involved and I've stayed in touch with that officer ever since - we're still friends. I always knew after I stopped playing hockey, the police would be something I'd love to get into."
Paul swore his oath and joined GMP on 6 September as a training officer to later become a detective.
He added: "I'm really enjoying it so far - some of it is really interesting and I'm looking forward to getting started. I'm used to working in a team from when I played ice hockey so I can now apply that to my role as a police officer for a big police force in a huge area.
"I've always known I've wanted to give something back and always tried to do that when I was a hockey player. We'd visit Great Ormond Street and meet fans who were thrilled to meet you - it was brilliant to know you could make someone's day or share advice, wisdom or encouragement.
"I remember being a kid and someone took the time to talk to me about ice hockey and it really inspired me. I always wanted to give back and work with people and communities."