One of Cumbria’s most senior police officers joined the ranks of 1,000 graduands this week.
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery accepted his Master of Science award at a ceremony at Carlisle Cathedral, one of eight University of Cumbria services held over 26-28 November.
The 52-year-old has spent the last two years completing his MSc in Strategic Policing, picking up his scroll 29 years after graduating from Lancaster University with a degree in sociology.
Leading by example, Andrew is now mentoring three other high-ranking Cumbrian officers who have started the course.
A police officer for the last 28 years, Andrew says the last two years have not been easy.
He said: “For the first year of my master’s degree I was also going through a process at work to become Assistant Chief Constable. I was Detective Chief Superintendent (Head of Crime) at Cumbria Constabulary at the time, which is a demanding role in itself. Juggling work and study commitments can be difficult but it is possible and well worth the effort.
“It has been of real benefit professionally and personally, helping to develop me. At work, I’m very busy operationally, helping to run a large organisation and helping to protect the public from threat, risk and harm on a daily basis.
“This has allowed me to step out of that operational side of things and come back to the fundamental issues about why we do what we do, the role of the police and ethical issues.”
He added: “It was a challenge coming back to academic study and writing after so long away. Academic study, research and presentations are different disciplines to what you may do in other parts of your life. You have to be disciplined to get back into the way of learning also, but it has really focussed me.”
Andrew, a former pupil of Keswick School, is delighted to have carried out research into career progression for men and women in the police service as part of his course. He is currently working with Dr Nicoletta Policek, University of Cumbria associate professor in policing and criminology.
He is pleased that colleagues and others have opportunities to further their careers and professional development with University of Cumbria, which offers a range of courses and degree apprenticeships in areas such as policing, nursing, tourism and teaching.
“I’m a proud Cumbrian and proud to serve as Assistant Chief Constable in my home county police force. I had to go away to Lancaster to study as an undergraduate but I’m also delighted that now we have an established university in Cumbria today, seeing it grow and develop, providing higher education and learning opportunities to so many.
“In the cathedral I was one of two graduating with an MSc in Strategic Policing. The other person was a young man who’d enrolled on it after immediately completing his policing degree and joined the police only last week. It was nice to see how the master’s degree is suitable for all, whether it is as you start out on your journey or are like me, someone with a lot of operational experience and who has enjoyed a varied career in the force.”