Inspired by the Humans of New York photoblog, we’re showcasing some of the incredible stories and experience of people throughout our organisation.
Katarina, Constable, Road Policing
Kia Ora Aotearoa, I graduated police college as a constable December 2020. It was a fulfilling and exciting experience after a four-year recruitment journey.
From a young age, I always knew I wanted to apply to join Police – I was about 11 years old when I first told my dad I was going to be a police woman. By the time it came to leaving high school I was only 17 and knew I needed some life experience before hitting that ‘apply now’ button.
I have a passion for children and understanding development, so I decided to use this interest to be a primary school teacher. After a four-year degree at Victoria University, I landed the ultimate role with a new entrants class in my local community school for the next four years.
Working alongside whānau of all different diversities and backgrounds is extremely fulfilling. I want to continue to support my community through teaching and educating tamariki and whānau wherever and whenever I can in my role as a constable.
It was a very exciting experience for the tamariki in my class to watch me transition from being their teacher to then seeing me as a police woman.
During teaching, I was completing my police recruitment as well as having my son in the middle of it all. My experience with police recruitment is where I was introduced to the Wāhine Toa programme for wāhine recruits here in Wellington.
Wāhine Toa is a pilot mentoring programme run by Wellington Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES) team. It was started to address an issue where some female applicants, meeting challenges, would end up withdrawing or not making it through the process.
This programme allowed me to meet other women who were also in recruiting and strive for me to get to the Police college finish line along with raising a young whānau, working full time and meeting the physical requirements of the process.
From this programme I have made friendships to last a lifetime, built relationships with my local iwi liaison and now have the support of these wonderful women through their journey as well as my own.
After completing a range of secondments through the District Custody Unit, Investigations Support and currently Road Policing, I will be posted to Lower Hutt on a Public Safety Team.
I am excited to embark on this new career and support my community. It really was a dream come true and very rewarding after such a long and bumpy journey, especially seeing my two-year-old son be so excited to see me when I get home from work. It makes the challenges worth it.