Going beyond police duties
Police officer creates strong connections with children
SENIOR Constable Joanne MacAdam uses her role in the community to build strong connections between police and children.
She hopes to be a strong role model for the younger generation and provide a safe place for them to seek help if required. Her work as Buderim Mountain State School’s Adopt-a-Cop has been recognised with a major award.
Full story inside.
THROUGHOUT her years as a police officer, Senior Constable Joanne MacAdams has often faced difficult and unpleasant situations.
So for her, the work she does as Buderim Mountain State School’s Adopt-a-Cop is her favourite part of the job.
“It’s different from the average police work, it’s nice to actually deal in positive interactions with people,” she said.
The most important part is simply being around so the children know they can come to her for anything.
“I want kids to come to us if they’re scared or they’re lost or anything like that. I don’t want them to be scared of us,” Joanne said.
“Being in the school and around the school and waving to the kids and giving them a high five, it breaks down those barriers with the kids, they know they feel safe and we’re fun to be around.”
On top of organising the Walk To School Program, she also volunteers a great deal of time for other school activities.
“I go in and read books to the kids in class, I help out with the Shine program where I talk about things like cyber crime and a positive outlook for the girls,” she said.
❝It’s different from average police work, it’s nice to actually deal in positive interaction with people.
Joanne’s work with the school and the children has made her a popular figure around town and she is constantly being stopped in the street for a chat.
“A lot of it is the kids just seeing me around the school. Like if I walk past and they’re out on the oval, how they’ll all come up to the fence and wave and yell at me and I’ll be waving back, that sort of interaction,” she said.
“If I’m at the bus stop, they always say hello and it’s good to see the kids are happy to say hello and ask how my day’s going and that sort of thing.”
Her dedication to not just the school, but the wider Buderim community, landed her the 2017 Sunshine Coast District Adopt-a-Cop of the year title.
While recognition is not the reason she does the work, she says it was humbling to win.
“Knowing that I’m having the right effect is always nice to know, that you’re doing the right thing,” she said. “It’s humbling, I’ve not ever had anything like that before.”
Joanne said regardless of awards and recognition, the work she did meant a lot to her as children needed strong adult figures to look up to.
“I think it’s important that kids have strong role models because, unfortunately, there’s a lot of negative stuff out there that happens,” she said.
“While they need to know about that, it’s good to have strong role models for kids to look up to and they can feel that they can come and talk to.”
Inquiries to 5445 1661.
SCHOOL TIES: Senior Constable Joanne MacAdams builds trust between police and children.