The drum : the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services magazine
Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services
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Northern Territory Police, Fire And Emergency Services -- Periodicals; Police -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals
Northern Territory Government
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Northern Territory Government
28 | The DRUM Magazine | August 2009 Melbourne secretary turned Northern Territory bush cop Senior Constable Rebecca OBrien swapped her pin stripes for khakis and says that being OIC at remote Police station Imanpa is the best career shes ever had. Tell us a bit about yourself Bec? I am originally from Brisbane but moved to Melbourne where I was working as a secretary for a stockbroking firm for two years before relocating to Darwin. I lived with my brother who was already in the Police force for about one year prior to joining the NT Police in 2004. Why did you decide to join NT Police? What appealed to you? Ive always wanted to be a Police officer. The camaraderie between the members and being in a position to help people always appealled to me. Where have you worked within NT Police? I was posted to Alice first and whilst there I relieved at Kulgera, Hermannsburg and Yulara. I then transferred permanently to Yulara and now Ive been at Imanpa for the last year and a half Best thing about living remote? Everyday is different. Youre always meeting new people, dealing with new challenges and the money is good too. Biggest challenges? The distance. You never truly understand the tyranny of the distance between communities; the hours of driving to respond to a call out. A while ago prior to the Finke Police station being established we had to travel to Finke after receiving a call about a domestic dispute. It took us over 4 hours driving to get there because it was the middle of the night and when we arrived everyone was asleep. Memorable moment? Having to search for a lost tourist around the Olgas. We had to search for him with a helicopter through the Olgas. It was pretty breath-taking, the pilot took the chopper right in, I thought we were going to hit the side of it! Scariest moment? A bloke who had come back to the community after being released from jail. In the spotlight Rebecca OBrien He committed some fresh offences two days after his release and when he saw us coming for him, he started throwing rocks at us; he hit the Police car, me and my partner. With all the commotion, the whole community came running down yelling and waving their hands. It was the first time they had seen the Taser and thought that I had shot him. A memory youll never forget? When I was relieving in Kulgera, we had to attend a car accident and we had just responded to a call-out in Finke so it took us around 4 hours to get back there. It was starting to get dark and we hadnt eaten all day and one of us had to stay with the crime scene. To make matters worse, it was freezing and we didnt have enough petrol to run the heater all night. My partner drove to Curtin Springs which was about 40 mins away and when the local shop owner heard we had to stay all night at the crime scene, he drove out to us with a generator and food and brought massive chunks of wood for a fire. Lucky really, it got down to -4 degrees that night. Funniest thing? Its hard to remember the funniest moment; I always try to have fun. I have definitely had some fun and memorable times working with neighbouring stations either at road blocks or reported incidents. What do you do outside of work hours? We always seem to be waiting for the phone to ring. Being a highway community, there is always something happening. But thats ok, Im certainly never bored. What has it been like trying to adjust to life at a remote community? Huge contrast from working in the city; life is definitely different out here. Even law enforcement has to be handled appropriately to each situation. What have been the most noticeable changes in the community since youve been there? Imanpa is located on the highway, so its always a busy community and we deal with a variety of issues. Definitely there is not so much alcohol anymore, and therefore less alcohol related problems. The community is friendlier now and are happy to have a permanent Police presence. When I got here, they had only had Police in the community for 6 months before, so they were still getting used to the idea. Proudest achievement? Im proud of the differences I have made to everyday life in the community. The women of the community thank me and thats rewarding. Could you ever work 95 again? God no. Whats next for Bec? Im not sure really, Im not in any hurry to leave. If the opportunity came up to see somewhere new I would like to head up north at some stage, towards some water, but like I said, Im not in a hurry. I certainly have no desire to work in the city again if I can avoid it. Below left Rebecca assists in a medical evacuation in the absence of a local nurse. Below Bec spends a lot of time getting to know the local kids.
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