More women wanted to join police force
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.’’
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.
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.