I've loved being a police officer and I'll always identify as one. But I don't ever want to do an average job
Kapiti's senior sergeant Anita Dixon can tick off everything she ever wanted from a busy 19 year policing career, as she says her goodbyes to her role with police this year.
Ms Dixon, who joined the police in 1997 and worked in frontline patrol and response roles in Wellington City before shifting to Kapiti in November 2013, will leave police for good this September.
Before stepping down from her role at Kapiti station, she'll move to police headquarters in Wellington, where she'll leave one last mark in a job she's loved, managing its early intervention programme.
Her sights will soon be set on doing something a little different, as she shifts from an inside office role to a job that embraces her lifelong love of the outdoors.
Having just purchased a state of the art ride-on lawn mower, the Peka Peka resident will open her new lawn mowing business Mrs Moa this October.
"It's definitely different to what I'm doing now, but I'm looking forward to it.
"I'm an outdoors person and whenever I'm home from work I'm maintaining my lawns and cutting up trees because we live on a couple of acres.
"I enjoy the job satisfaction of mowing lawns and getting outside, and it's still a little people oriented."
Job satisfaction is important to Ms Dixon, who won the top award for excellence in policing for the most outstanding female leader or practitioner last year, from the Australasian Council of Women and Policing.
Nominated by her fellow police colleagues and Kapiti Coast District Council, her award stemmed from her instrumentation in lifting morale and improving service delivery since joining Kapiti station.
New Zealand Police described her no frills style of leadership as having led Kapiti staff to one of its highest performing and most engaged work groups.
"I'm very passionate about the police.
"But the truth is that if I stayed in police, I wouldn't be passionate about my job any more because I've learnt my enjoyment lies in frontline work.
"At my age now though, I'm done with shift work.
"I came up here to Kapiti and always thought I'd get my promotion exams and apply for a job after this as an inspector, but that doesn't float my boat because I'm not an office type of person."
She said to be effective and do your best in a hard and often dangerous industry, a police officer must be passionate about their role.
"I've loved being a police officer and I'll always identify as one. But I don't ever want to do an average job."
Since shifting to Kapiti, Ms Dixon's performance had been anything but average, with last year's hard-hitting storm seeing her play a central role in the civil defence response.
For her efforts, she was congratulated by council for making sound decisions during a rapidly evolving situation.
She has also been recognised for enhancing the relationship between police and local mental health services, assisting a large number of Kapiti women and their families.
"In this job you've got so many people to learn from.
"I've been lucky to have worked with some great people, including the team at Kapiti, who work really hard.
"You learn different bits and pieces from people about how you deal with an incident, because no two incidents are the same when you're policing.
"And it's also true what they say about reverse role models and learning what not to be like and I've had a couple of them in my career."
With a colourful history of incidents and police cases behind her, including tackling down a violent offender in the early hours of the morning who turned out to have a large knife and loaded air pistol down his pants, Ms Dixon said foremost, her role was to "keep my people safe".
"Fifteen years ago I wanted to be in charge of Kapiti.
"Being a police officer was the best thing I ever did.
"But I've done my time and now I'm ready to move on."