Officer to talk about history of women in police service

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

DURING the 10 years Senior Constable Mia Pakarinen has been in the Queensland Police Service she's noticed a lot more women choosing police work as a career path.

"Currently the highest ranking female officer in Queensland is the assistant commissioner who was appointed in 2000, so I would imagine it wouldn't be too long before we see the first female police commissioner in Queensland,' she said.

As a speaker at this year's International Women's Day function, Snr Const Pakarinen said she would be discussing the history of women in policing as well as the various achievements female police officers had made in Queensland during the past 40 years.

'Women were first appointed as police officers in 1931, but it wasn't until 1965 that the first woman was sworn in and later that year that women were given the same powers in the force as men ? for instance the power to make arrests,' she said.

Snr Const Pakarinen said she had wanted to become a police officer since high school.

'I always thought that's what I wanted to do, but I also wanted to have some life experience before signing up, so I went to college and travelled and then I settled into a career in the police service,' she said.

'I began doing general policing duties and then the opportunity arose where I could become the crime prevention co-ordinator so I decided to take it up to take on more of a community-oriented role.''

Snr Const Pakarinen said there were a number of different pathways available for women in the police service and she was fortunate to have gained experience in different roles.

International Women's Day will be celebrated at the Police Citizens Youth Club tomorrow, with the theme of 'Celebrating the past, claiming the future'.

Snr Const Pakarinen and indigenous woman Melody Ingra will be the guest speakers for the function.



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