More women wanted to join po­lice force

Central Leader - - NEWS - By KELLY DEN­NETT

Po­lice Sergeant Wendy Pickering has dan­gled out of he­li­copters, car­ried out search and res­cue op­er­a­tions and been first on the scene at some es­pe­cially vi­o­lent crimes.

She might sound like a mod­ern day won­der woman but she says it’s all part of be­ing in the force.

Pickering’s story is among those her bosses hope will in­spire more women to con­sider polic­ing as a ca­reer op­tion.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Mike Bush says there’s been a 46 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of fe­male re­cruits join­ing the force over the past 10 years. But women still make up just 20 per cent of the 8845 con­stab­u­lary staff na­tion­wide. He’s keen to see more join up.

The po­lice have an­nounced a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to en­cour­age women into the job as a re­sult.

Among them is a new re­al­ity show on TV One called Women in Blue which show­cases the day-to-day lives of fe­males in the force. A num­ber of se­nior po­lice­women have also es­tab­lished the Po­lice Women’s Ad­vi­sory Net­work to pro­vide sup­port around re­cruit­ment and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment.

Pickering joined the po­lice 22 years ago and looked back.

She’s been a de­tec­tive with the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch and has also had a role in the fam­ily vi­o­lence sec­tor.

The va­ri­ety, along with the abil­ity to make a dif­fer­ence at a grass­roots level, keeps her go­ing, she says.

‘‘The world is your oys­ter, it’s up to you what you want to achieve, that’s one of the great things about this role.’’

hasn’t

Solo mum Alex Wa­woris joined three years ago and is a con­sta­ble with a neigh­bour­hood polic­ing team.

She once worked nine to five in ad­min­is­tra­tion and says she was go­ing home ev­ery night think­ing there must be more to life.

‘‘One day I woke up and thought ‘yeah I’m go­ing to do this’,’’ she says.

She spent six months of in­ten­sive train­ing at po­lice col­lege in Welling­ton and knew she’d made the right choice af­ter just a few min­utes on the beat.

‘‘To some people it’s prob­a­bly a bit lame – but it’s when I drive past the schools and the kids wave and look at me as if I’m a hero.’’

No­body looks at her with more ad­mi­ra­tion than her daugh­ter Porschza, 7, who proudly tell strangers that her mum is a cop.

Pho­tos: KELLY DEN­NETT

Sergeant Wendy Pickering, left, has been with the po­lice for 22 years while Con­sta­ble Alex Wa­woris joined the po­lice three years ago af­ter ditch­ing her ad­min­is­tra­tion role.

Lengthy ten­ure:

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