It's been a long journey to New Zealand Police for Rotorua's first ethnic liaison officer.
Weiwei Verran was watching TV in Chengdu, China, when she first thought about wearing a uniform.
"I loved action movies, especially the FBI TV series," Verran told the Rotorua Daily Post.
"It was my dream to be in a special squad. I guess it's been in my head since then."
But Verran's road to police college had a few unexpected turns in it.
"I have done a few jobs before this," Verran said.
After she moved to New Zealand in 2003 to study accounting, Verran has worked as an accounting officer, a hotel receptionist, Chinese language teacher and primary school teacher. Verran has even played competitive tennis.
Then Verran got her most important role: motherhood.
Verran said while she wouldn't change anything, being a mother has come with a few schedule shifts.
"I stopped playing [tennis] because I just didn't have the time."
Once her son was a little older, she decided to make her old dream a reality.
"I've been a police officer for two years and five months, mostly working on the frontline."
Verran said her son is proud of her choices.
"He wants to be a police officer when he grows up but he wants to be a dinosaur too, so we'll see."
Verran said the job was everything she hoped it would be.
"Police is the most challenging, enjoyable and rewarding career in New Zealand."
The journey wasn't over yet. Two months after Verran joined the force, one of her on-the-job experiences changed her life.
"I was involved in the investigation of a bus crash involving tourists from my hometown in China."
Verran said the incident helped her to see a need within New Zealand Police.
"I saw how much I could help. From then on I thought if a position like [ethnic liaison] became available I would apply."
In June, Verran was appointed as Rotorua's first ethnic liaison officer.
"I'm very excited. This position is completely new."
Verran joins Tauranga-based Constable Jason Wharewera as members of the Bay of Plenty District Māori, Pacific and Ethnic Service team.
"We're going to study and learn from the officers already appointed in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch so we can do our best for the Bay of Plenty," Verran said.
Verran and Wharewera's role is to help build trust and confidence between diverse communities and the police.
"My goal is to build positive relationships with our ethnic communities, provide support and advice," Verran said.
In the weeks since her appointment, Verran has already been busy meeting with different community members and leaders.
On Saturday she will be celebrating her appointment with the Rotorua Multicultural Council.
The council's president, Dr Margriet Theron, said it was important for ethnic communities to have one main contact with police.
"Weiwei is extremely qualified for this position. She's got great insight, so it is very valuable."
Verran plans to continue reaching out. She plans to run crime prevention workshops with the different ethnic communities in Rotorua.
"There are a lot of simple things people don't know and don't like to ask about," Verran said.
"Some people don't know how to dial 111. They don't know that 105 exists, or if they know about the number they don't know how best to use it."
Verran believes the role of ethnic liaison officer is vital for New Zealand and she is glad to see the increase in appointments across the country.
"It would be great to have one in each district but it will take time. Hopefully, we can have one in each city in the future. I would love that."