Ex-journo, same beat

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Mayors’ Messages - By JOSH ZIM­MER­MAN

JUST over a year af­ter leav­ing Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group, for­mer deputy ed­i­tor Emma Clay­ton is back on a fa­mil­iar beat.

Pro­ba­tion­ary Con­sta­ble Clay­ton left a ca­reer in jour­nal­ism span­ning close to two decades to join the po­lice force and the lat­est ad­di­tion to the Mur­doch Sta­tion could not be hap­pier with her choice.

“I started work­ing for CNG as a cadet jour­nal­ist in 1996 and I think my first po­lice ride was the fol­low­ing year,” she said.

“Straight away I was hooked and dur­ing my time work­ing as a jour­nal­ist I be­came more and more in­ter­ested in work­ing on crime sto­ries.

“The more time I spent in po­lice sta­tions and in the back of po­lice cars and tak­ing pho­tos and in­ter­view­ing peo­ple, the more I re­alised po­lice work is what I wanted to be do­ing.”

A num­ber of life­style fac­tors, in­clud­ing a young fam­ily, pre­vented Const Clay­ton from tak­ing the plunge and ap­ply­ing un­til Fe­bru­ary 2015.

“When I ap­plied I was 40 years old and my chil­dren were eight and 10 – I knew the longer I left it, the harder it would get, so the tim­ing was right.”

Af­ter com­plet­ing a rig­or­ous nine-month re­cruit­ment process – in­clud­ing men­tal, phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and med­i­cal as­sess­ments – Const Clay­ton left Com­mu­nity to be­gin her po­lice academy train­ing in Novem­ber 2015.

“You spend 28 weeks at the academy – when you start you pretty much don’t know any­thing and six months later you’re a fully op­er­a­tional po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, Const Clay­ton spent a few months in the traf­fic depart­ment be­fore be­ing as­signed to Mur­doch Po­lice Sta­tion – re­unit­ing her with the patch she had spent the pre­vi­ous three years cov­er­ing for the Melville Times.

Now work­ing as part of a lo­cal polic­ing team, Const Clay­ton con­fided she was still com­ing to grips with sleep­ing pat­terns dis­rupted by shift work but said she loved the va­ri­ety on of­fer through her new job.

“The lo­cal polic­ing teams work in tan­dem with re­sponse of­fi­cers, fol­low­ing up in­ci­dents they have dealt with orig­i­nally,” Const Clay­ton said.

“It might be try­ing to source CCTV vi­sion, find­ing any wit­nesses, in­ter­view­ing those wit­nesses, try­ing to re­cover stolen prop­erty, ex­e­cut­ing a search war­rant.

“We also know who our lo­cal pro­lific of­fend­ers are and will carry out cur­few checks for peo­ple that might be on bail con­di­tions.”

Const Clay­ton said her only re­gret was not join­ing sooner.

“It’s not a job for ev­ery­one, but hon­estly for me sign­ing up was the best thing I ever did,” she said. “For any­one think­ing about join­ing up, you have noth­ing to lose.

“It’s fun, you meet a lot of good peo­ple and ul­ti­mately you are catch­ing bad guys and mak­ing peo­ple safer.”

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek d463006

Pro­ba­tion­ary Con­sta­ble Emma Clay­ton in­ves­ti­gates her old stomp­ing ground.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.