Susan Frank is an Acting Patrol Group Leader at the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine ( OSCE/Alfred Kueppers )

Following my retirement from Cheshire Police in 2014 I worked briefly in UAE with the Community Police delivering training on  wide variety of subjects such as community engagement, crime prevention & crime reduction. I also delivered training to student police officers in one of the larger metropolitan forces in the UK. Just prior to joining OSCE I was working part time as a test driver for a luxury and very prestigious car manufacturing company based in the north west of England. Something I loved and could hardly call a job! In addition to all my policing qualifications I have a number of formal teaching qualifications    

From all my experience as a police officer I found that a person with good grounding, good common sense and excellent communication skills is far more likely to have the skill set required to be a first-rate monitoring officer.  To do this job you need to be able to communicate with people at all levels; to empathize, show human decency and respect. For these qualities you do not need a formal qualification you need to be passionate and compassionate. I do not have an academic background, and I strongly believe that the OSCE needs to have a very diverse workforce to succeed.

I joined OSCE SMM Ukraine in December 2017 and was posted to Donetsk. Initially I performed the role of a driver. From a policing perspective and previous mission experience I fully understood the all the responsibilities to ensure that the armoured vehicle was fit for patrol each day. As a native English speaker I soon found myself supporting the Reporting Unit for a couple of months and from there I moved to a support role within operations. My current role in acting Patrol Group Leader, I liken it to my days as a Police Sergeant being in change of a team of officers. Currently I have 17 monitors in my patrol group and I have varied responsibilities such as patrol planning, safety and security, welfare, training and development. I also go on patrol usually two or three times a week, which is probably my favourite part of the job

The OSCE is a big family, where you meet people from all walks of life, a huge variety of cultures and countries. I have also met with friends and former colleagues from other missions. It is such a diverse and interesting work environment which of course has its challenges too. You learn a lot about yourself and your ability to cope in a wide variety of situations, you learn more about the location where you are based, you get to meet new people and make new friends   

To learn more about Susan or other remarkable women making a difference in Eastern Ukraine, click here to visit the special feature on  Women on the Contact Line.