WATCH: PC Shaun Westmoreland opens up on dyslexia and highs and lows of Response
Main article content
“I've been diagnosed since 2016 with my dyslexia. I had no idea what it was. They just gave me a big piece of paper and went you're dyslexic.”
For PC Shaun Westmoreland, being diagnosed with dyslexia was a confusing time.
After becoming a detention officer, a PCSO in Northumbria Police, and then a PC with Cleveland Police, Shaun began to learn more about neurodiversity and in turn his own dyselxia.
Since then he's become the neurodiverse leader of Cleveland Police and is working to implement new systems to help more people like him.
Opening up on his dsylexia, Shaun said: “Most people who have dyslexia are quite vocal, we're quite good at processing information vocally and verbally.
"I'm good at listening, but we're also very good at problem solving because with a dyslexic mind, you can't think in a linear manner of like step 1,2,3,4,5 with a dyslexic mind we're on step 5 already thinking of the solution for that problem."
During Response Policing Week, which runs from June 26th to July 2nd, we're speaking to some of our response police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.
Shaun has been a response officer for two years in Stockton and said he loves what he does. He is also doing his Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).
He said: "The first priority of a response police officer is to save life and limb. After that I'll look at the criminal side and look at where justice needs to be brought or where people need to be helped with.
"It's such a visual job and you need people skills and that's what people with neurodiversity enjoy doing. That's why quite a lot of us are in the police.
"But unfortunately there are some challenges which you have to face, but there are reasonable adjustments out there for you to help you be the best you can be."
He added: "When I speak to people and they say I didn't know that people with dyslexia can join the job, I'm like, well, if I can do it, anyone can do it."