I am 35 and have a son who is 18 years old and in my spare time I love photography, travelling and exposing myself to new experiences and challenges.
I started my career in Lincolnshire police in 2006 when I joined as a PCSO. I've always been career minded and driven so this was an ideal introduction into the police until the recruitment opened up for police officers. When they did, I applied, was successful and started as a police officer in 2008 on my 29th birthday.
My intentions were to complete my two years probation then do my sergeants exams however I felt that by doing this, this would take me away from what I joined the police to do, so I decided I wanted to specialise.
I've always had an interest in roads policing but this had always been dual rolled, which I found quite daunting as I'd had no experience with firearms prior to joining. I knew this was a very male dominated role however I never found this an issue. I thought very carefully about the role and how it would effect me and my family should I be involved in a shooting and decided this was what I wanted to do.
Before being eligible to apply in my probationary period, I attended the recruitment events to familiarise myself with the recruitment process and had attachments with the department, and as soon as I was eligible to apply and they recruited, I applied and was successful.
I started the firearms course in January 2012, the course was without a doubt, hard work, frustrating and pressured. It pushed me out of my comfort zone but feel this is probably the most challenging, yet enjoyable things I have done in my career as yet.
The course was split in two parts with the first part being shooting and the next part being the tactics stage. The shooting was the most challenging aspect for me due to an issue with my eyes, and caused me to become overly stressed at qualification shoot times.
The training department were very supportive, and as they have with many people, they helped me identify what my issues were with extra training shoots, and offered some Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which the firearms training sergeant is qualified to do to help me not have negative feelings about the qualification shoot. I then got to the point where I overcame my issues and this is no longer an issue for me.
3 years on, I am now 1 of 4 females on the department. I love what I do and have been very fortunate as I have met some great people and had some amazing opportunities which I would never have had the opportunity to do had I have not applied. For example, in July I am due to play a charity football match against the likes of rudimental, union J and Carl froch to name a few.
I have featured in two series of Police Interceptors and also featured on a BBC4 documentary called "fair cop, 100 years women in policing" which talks about how women have progressed and become accepted in a profession that never wanted them.
There is also another TV program in the pipeline that I may be involved with, which I hope will inspire the target audience of 16-19 year olds to push themselves beyond what they may believe is out of their reach.
Overall, Although initially, I never had any interest in the firearms aspect of the role, I have come to believe that firearms is probably one of the best roles within the police and I am very proud to be in the role I am in.