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A Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) with autism is making his dreams of working for the police a reality having joined the South Staffordshire Neighbourhood Policing Team recently.
Phillip Millichap, joined Staffordshire Police in October 2021 having spent ten years caring for the elderly in his local neighbourhood and working as a customer sales assistant in retail. Since joining the police, Phillip has become one of the force’s Autism Champions for the East Staffordshire region, promoting and supporting other individuals with neurodiversity in the organisation. Phillip believes his past experiences have helped him become the man he is today and is keen to continue to make a difference in the communities of Staffordshire. “By sharing my experiences living with autism, I want to be an advocate for any individual and enhance the diverse workforce.“What motivates me within the force and my current role is striving to make a positive difference and using my superpowers from my autism such as: attentiveness to every detail, to go the extra mile.
“And my role has enabled me to relate to people who have autism, allowing me to understand how they feel and make a positive difference.” Phillip acknowledges that whilst his autism has provided setbacks, Staffordshire Police have been fully supportive and he feels integrated into the force. “It’s been a challenge to get where I am today due to the lack of awareness around autism. “One of the challenges I constantly found myself facing was the frustration of not being understood by others, this made me sometimes feel socially awkward. “My colleagues have been amazing and very supportive during my training and me being on-shift which has made my experience in the police an enjoyable one. “I’d like to describe myself as resilient, strong-willed, caring, and an attentive individual. All these qualities are what the force look for. “Therefore, this made me realise that my dream could become a reality and decided to finally apply. “Since then, I’ve been living my dream every day since sending my application off.” Phillip also has advice for those living with autism and for them to never give up. “My main piece of advice that I could offer to someone, would be to embrace being different as it should not stop you from achieving your dreams or be seen as a barrier to anything. “I’ve always been a very positive person and believe having that mentality will get you far in life. “I’m a big believer in sharing my experiences of having autism, to raise awareness and encourage others to follow their dreams and to view it as a positive rather than being a barrier.”
To find out more, contact Phillip via email: [email protected]. Information about the autism ambassadors in the force and recruitment can be found on the careers section on our website. Staffordshire Police also have an Autism Alert Card Scheme, which members of the public with autism, can apply for. Visit: www.staffordshire.police.uk/police-forces/staffordshire-police/areas/staffordshire-police/campaigns/autistic-person-alert-card-scheme/
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