The great guardian of Brunel

Police Constable Barry Cilia is a tall, broad-shouldered British Maltese, with a booming voice and a straight posture. A man you respect even before the firm handshake he gives, and someone you want to be on good terms with. From afar he might look a bit frightening, but once you get closer his eyes reveal kindness and the big smile on his face is as welcoming as flowers in May.

Credit: Amalie Henden

A young boy’s dream Being a police officer was all Barry wanted to do since he was 10 years old. He was born in the southeast of England, but moved to Malta as a young child. He came back to the UK to pursue his dream and start training to become a police officer. After he finished his education, he started off his career in Surrey, going on to work for the Met Police in London before he ended up as a full-time police officer at Brunel University.

The best job he has ever had

Barry describes the job at the London-based university as “the best job he has ever had.”

“Brunel University is like a little village. It has just got everything, a community and people from all over the world. Just over a few hours today I have met people from five or six continents and it is just brilliant,” Barry says. “London is a big melting pot of different cultures from all over the world, and Brunel is like a micro version of that. The university has nearly 15.000 students from over 100 different countries.”

Works for a safer world

There have been a few memorable moments at Brunel where officer Cilia has had his hands full, like the unfortunate incident of the "Killer Clown" about a year ago, where a student was chasing students with a chainsaw. The media coverage of the prank grabbed the attention from newspapers from all over the world. “The media coverage exaggerated that happening a bit, but it was an interesting time to be a police officer at Brunel.”

For many an incident like the "Killer Clown" might seem like a day at work a police officer would especially appreciate, but Constable Cilia says that his favourite part of the job is to bring moments of happiness to the people at the university. “Moments like when I get to reunite a stolen bike with its owner. The gratitude they give me makes my day. Moments like that is why you join the police, to solve crimes and make the world a safer and happier place.”

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