Its a family affair at West Midlands Police
Farooq and Karis Sheikh joined an exclusive West Midlands Police ‘father-and-son club’ last month when Karis hit the streets for the first time as one of 82 new PC recruits.
The 25-year-old is cutting his teeth in Birmingham with stints alongside response units – answering emergency calls for help – and neighbourhood teams on the beat in Ladywood.
As with all new officers Karis – who gave up a job in IT recruitment and took a hefty pay cut to realise his public service ambition – will spend the first 18-months under the guidance of a seasoned officer.
And in an ironic twist his mentor, PC Kam Samra, was coached through his early crime fighting career by Karis’ dad Farooq who’s an Inspector steering the recruitment drive.
Karis said: “I applied after hearing all the positives from my dad about police work, plus I was unhappy doing a 9-5, rooted at a desk and on the phone and email all day.
“I’m looking forward to mixing in communities I’ll be serving, understanding people’s needs and responding to emergencies…and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to driving my first blue light run.
“I’d like to work in response, it’s a fast-paced environment that suits me, and down the line maybe specialise in traffic or firearms.
“I’m learning a lot from Kam and it’s strange to think some of his advice would initially have been passed on by my dad years earlier.”
Eighty more recruits are set to graduate from PC training school in July, with another batch of rookie PCs in training from the summer ahead of becoming operational late this year.
New officers will continue to join the force throughout 2016 to deliver the Police and Crime Commissioner’s intention to strengthen West Midlands Police’s ranks by 450.
Karis’ father, Farooq, is currently an Inspector in the ‘Positive Action’ team – which aims to increase representation of black and minority ethnic groups in the force – having previously spent time in intelligence, CID, traffic, neighbourhood policing, response units, and Offender Management.
He has 22 years’ police experience under his belt, including three years spent with the Canadian Police Force in Calgary and Vancouver Island.