WENDY Wheaton picked Victoria Police as a career for its “stability” and “opportunities” in 1994.
More than 23 years later, Senior Constable Wheaton, of Stawell, is still a loyal member of the blue brigade.
“The best part of the job is the ability to help people,” she said.
“Often you are dealing with people at their worst.
“But when you come across people that appreciate the work you do and how you have helped them, that definitely gives you a thrill.”
Victoria Police are starting a new recruitment campaign with a focus on women.
Senior Constable Wheaton said she had experienced a “wide variety” of duties in her career to date.
She moved from Heidelberg station to Horsham in her earlier days and also worked at Halls Gap for more than seven years.
She is now based at Stawell.
“One of my biggest incidents was definitely at Halls Gap,” she said.
“There was not so much crime, but more search and rescues. It was good, varied experience.
“I remember one day, I was one up and I got called out to a man in his 30s who was hiking with his partner and had fallen over a rock face at The Fortress in the Grampians.”
Senior Constable Wheaton said he had fallen in a “very isolated” area of the national park and required a “complicated” effort to carry him out.
“He fell a few metres onto a rock ledge below and was stranded there,” she said.
After 13 hours and a combined rescue effort with State Emergency Services and Parks Victoria, the man was successfully carried out with injuries to his back.
Senior Constable Wheaton said methamphetamine and family violence were the biggest issues facing police officers today.
“Especially the crime that arises from these incidents,” she said.
“It affects families and creates so much trauma.
“Victoria Police is aware of these issues and are doing everything possible to keep incidents at a minimum and ensure everybody’s safety.”