Kelly Makiha is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Editorial: Women in police deserve praise

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Sergeant Pauline Jones (left) and Senior Sergeant Nicky Riordan. Photo/Stephen Parker
Sergeant Pauline Jones (left) and Senior Sergeant Nicky Riordan. Photo/Stephen Parker

This month we are celebrating 75 years of women being in the New Zealand Police.

As a police reporter for more than 10 years, I once flirted with the idea of joining the police.

I loved the action, the thrill of the chase and the idea of catching the bad guys.

But then it dawned on me. I'd only be good for the day shift because I'm scared of the dark. It's no exaggeration.

Ask my work colleagues who have to walk me the 5m to my car from the office back door when there's no Daylight Saving.

It's hard to write this without sounding condescending but women who work in the police, in my opinion, are a gutsy bunch who deserve all the credit and kudos that is coming their way as we mark this special occasion.

The first intake of women went into police training at the Newtown depot in June 1941.

But they weren't officially women in blue as such.

There was no uniform worn by women for the first 10 years with the first official uniform released in 1952 - naturally, a skirt.

Today you see women in all fields of policing.

Many of my good friends are police women and I can tell you, I'd hate to be a bad guy running from them.

They can foot it with the best of the men in the police and hold high positions in all sections of the police.

Women police officers also offer special qualities that are needed nowadays in modern policing.

With all due respect to the men, many female victims of crime would feel more comfortable giving their statements and being comforted by women police officers.

This weekend we will celebrate the 75th anniversary when a torch relay travelling the country is taken through to Tauranga.

So, spare a thought for our wonderful ladies in blue.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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