Lara joined Sussex police in 2006.
I wanted a job that could challenge me, help others, and provide a better life for my son. My first five years were spent as a response officer in rural Sussex. I later became a public order officer, and worked on many demonstrations and public events in Sussex and London, including the G20 climate camp protests and student protests.
With three years’ experience of public order tactics and training, I looked to progress on to the tactical firearms unit. By making improvements to my fitness levels over that period, and with the support of my family, I passed the application and selection process for the firearms training course.
Despite the intensity and demands of that eight-week course, I successfully became a firearms officer, a role I have thoroughly enjoyed for the last five years. [When I’m] working at Gatwick, many of those travelling through the airport are surprised to see armed police. Walking through the terminals with the G36 assault rifle certainly causes a mix of reactions, but thankfully I have not yet needed to use any of the weapons we are trained and issued with.