A policewoman at last
Shannon gets her dream – 24 years later
It took 25 years and many hurdles for Shannon Heney to achieve her dream of becoming a police officer, but last week she graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College.
Heney, 40, said she had wanted to be a police officer since she was 16, but it wasn’t a straight road to the top.
She applied in her 20s, but discovered that her swimming ability wasn’t at the required level and had to take swimming lessons.
The day she called to reapply, she received a phone call telling her her father had been killed in a helicopter crash.
Being the eldest of 10 children, Heney moved from Christchurch back home to Murchison, in the Tasman region.
‘‘I decided to put things on hold and moved closer to my mother, so I could help with my younger siblings and be close to my family,’’ she said.
Last year her mother moved closer to family in Hokitika, and Heney saw it as the perfect opportunity to reignite her old dream.
‘‘I never lost sight of wanting to be a police officer, so I reapplied,’’ she said.
‘‘It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t try to do it, because I didn’t want to get old and regret not giving it a go.
‘‘If you want something it’s not going to be handed to you. You have to work for it. It should be deserved.
‘‘ I have worked really hard. Some of that determination has come from being with the younger ones and working hard to keep up.’’
Heney said the physical aspect was a lot harder, but she kept up by going for 5.30am runs.
She said she drew inspiration from her father who, after having 10 children, followed his dream and learnt to fly helicopters.
‘‘He said to me if you really want something you will do anything to achieve that, and I believe that because I’ve done it as well.
‘‘My advice is that you are never too old to follow your dreams. Hopefully my story will inspire others to follow theirs.’’
Heney jointly won the Physical Training and Defensive Tactics award and is being posted to the Tasman district.
Bright and blue: Shannon Heney graduated from the police college last week.