Donna joined the New Zealand Police in 1991. After graduating from Police College, she started her career in the General Duties Branch in Porirua, beforel she joined the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) in 1997.
After Donna qualified as a Detective she joined the Organised Crime Unit (OCU) in 2001. Mike Oxnam and Andrea Jopling were her mentors at the CIB, and she believes she was very fortunate to have been mentored by them.
After a few years with the OCU Donna was promoted to Detective Sergeant. She was then deployed to the Solomon Islands, as Team Leader National Investigations, based in Honiara. Donna was also part of a United Nations deployment to Timor Leste (East Timor). After roles in General Duties and Intelligence, she became the Community Policing Team Leader of a Becora substation in Dili.
Following her overseas deployments Donna was promoted to Detective Senior Sergeant, and she became Crime Strategy Manager. In early 2014, Donna was promoted to Inspector in the Professional Standards group.
Donna has a close knit group of friends in and out of the Police that she spends her time with, both in a sporting capacity and socially. They like to cycle, swim and go to the gym together for fun, challenging themselves and having a lot of laughs along the way. She has competed in several Half-Ironmans, challenging herself to overcome her fear of swimming in open water.
Inspector Donna Howard was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and despite a brave fight, passed away in January 2018.
Donna served with passion and commitment for 27 years.
At the time she passed away she was the Wairarapa Area Commander, a position she took up in early 2016.
She will be fondly remembered by her colleagues as a dedicated and well-respected police officer who made a substantial contribution to her local community and the New Zealand Police.