Po­lice wel­comed

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By KRISTIN BEALE

With a na­tion­wide drive for more women to join the po­lice it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore the re­sults were seen here.

In the past month Toko­roa po­lice sta­tion has wel­comed three new fe­male of­fi­cers and has boosted po­lice num­bers in the South Waikato.

Con­sta­ble Katharine Lemme was raised in Toko­roa and knew this was where she wanted to come back to af­ter her re­cent grad­u­a­tion from po­lice col­lege.

‘‘I grew up here and I like this com­mu­nity. I want to help make it a safe place.’’ Af­ter five years in Hamil­ton, fol­lowed by a six-month stint in Otara, Con­sta­ble La­nia Day has come to Toko­roa where she can be close to fam­ily and get to know the peo­ple in the com­mu­nity bet­ter.

Miss Day said she loved be­ing in Toko­roa and be­lieved fe­male of­fi­cers brought some­thing dif­fer­ent to the ta­ble from their male coun­ter­parts.

‘‘ I think we give a calmer in­flu­ence in deal­ing with dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions,’’ she said, ‘‘and some peo­ple pre­fer to talk with fe­male of­fi­cers.’’ Con­sta­ble Sh­eryl Fitzger­ald is the most ex­pe­ri­enced of the three with over six years on the force and is happy to be pro­mot­ing fe­male of­fi­cers.

‘‘It gives us a chance to be pos­i­tive role mod­els for girls and show them that this is not just a man’s job.’’ Se­nior Sergeant Graeme Hill is happy to wel­come the women and be­lieves there are many ben­e­fits to get­ting more fe­male of­fi­cers.

‘‘ It’s en­hanc­ing our polic­ing ca­pa­bil­ity as we pre­vi­ously didn’t have as many fe­males on staff,’’ he said.

ON THE BEAT: New Toko­roa po­lice of­fi­cers are ex­cited to be work­ing in a small com­mu­nity. From left: La­nia Day, Sh­eryl Fitzger­ald and Katharine Lemme.

Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent

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