“We threw a dart on a map and that’s how we ended up moving to Nottinghamshire.”
A Nottinghamshire police officer has spoken on how a natural disaster meant he ended up with his “dream job” here in the county.
Five years ago, the Caribbean nation of St Maarten, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was devastated by Hurricane Irma.
Having initially turned his life upside down, the disaster eventually helped 33-year-old Jordaine McLaughlin settle in Nottingham in secure employment.
Back in 2017, Jordaine and his fiance were working at a hotel chain in the Caribbean Island when the massive storm hit on September 6 that year.
As the couple was left without work and nowhere to go, they moved to Italy with the thought of moving to the UK in mind.
Jordaine said: “We agreed we wanted to live in the UK, but didn’t know what area.”
The couple eventually ended up in Nottingham, a move that was unplanned, where they took up work in hospitality before being left out of work during the pandemic.
Jordaine was born in Jamaica and moved to the dual-nationality island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten with his mother when he was four.
He always aspired to be in the police and help others fighting for justice and equality, however the language barriers of Dutch in St Maarten made it impossible.
He was not accepted besides passing all his exams, due to the laws being written in Dutch.
Never taking the police officer job out of his mind, Jordaine found his opportunity when he moved to Nottingham and successfully applied to join the ranks at Nottinghamshire Police.
Following an intense 18-week training course, he achieved his goal of becoming a police constable in December.
He added: “When I saw the job advert I was determined to apply.
“I think my motivation for joining the police comes from seeing people being mistreated.
“In St Maarten, I saw many good people being treated very badly. A lot of people would go to work but then their boss would not pay them.
“They would then get thrown out of their homes because they couldn’t pay the rent. They had worked hard but were cheated out of what they had – and there was no-one to do anything about it.”
Throughout his whole life, Jordaine has seen people being left in misery, suffering at the hands of justice, feeling it himself when his house was robbed and even after reporting, nothing came out of it.
“I do not like it when people are taken advantage of. I am someone who likes to help a person and that is why I’ve joined Nottinghamshire Police.
Jordaine Mclaughlin, 33, nottinghamshire police officer
“Obviously some days are tougher than others. I have had to deal with people fighting in the street on a busy Friday and Saturday night and on my third day I had my first sudden death.
“I was really dreading that, but my tutor was so supportive, she prepared me for it and so I managed to stay calm.”
Despite the ups and downs of the job, Jordaine believes he has experienced enough to know that he wants to stay in policing for many years.