Why do I want to be a police officer?
When I was 9 years old I felt passionately that I wanted to be a police woman. I used to act as a police officer and "arrest" my younger siblings! I was really excited about my chosen career path.
However, in the early 1990s there was a huge ruckus about Stephen Lawrence. He was a young black teenager, who was murdered in an allegedly racially motivated attack. The suspects were not convicted and the police were deemed "racists". I was a teenager at the time and very impressionable. My community condemned the police and I felt lost and confused. I had always believed in doing the right thing and I thought all people were inherently good. I was naive. My faith in the police force had been shaken.
To make matters worse, around that time, a boy in my school walked up to me in the lunchroom and said: "Why do you want to be a copper anyway. You're a p@ki!" I was so upset. I (mistakenly) realized that I could never be a police officer.
After a while I pushed the police force to the back of my mind. I carried on not really knowing what to do with my life. As an Indian girl I was expected to have an arranged marriage and raise a family BUT I did not want this. I really wanted to travel and see the world.
At 16 my parents said "No!" I could not leave the house. I was disdained, but not discouraged. I held on to the belief that I would go and see what was out there. I bided my time.
Finally, at 24 years old I was allowed to go backpacking through Central and South America. I had worked retail jobs for approximately 2 years to save enough money for 6 months of travel. I loved it. It opened my mind. I did not stay in luxury hotels or take the easy way. It was hard, dirty and real.
After that I went all through Asia. India had a big impact on me. Most people are exceptionally poor. I volunteered a lot in the shanty towns and listened to the "untouchables" stories. Crime is extremely high in the slums. The police do nothing. It was then that I had an epiphany: I could be a police officer! It didn't matter to the public if the police officer is black, white or blue. All people, from all over the world just need help. I can make a difference. I can help my community regardless of my race. I could be a role model for all visible minorities. They can put their trust in the police again.
All my passion had been ignited! From then on, I became driven towards becoming a police officer. I still have to wait at least a few years, but I'm preparing now. I can do it. This is my destiny.
Here is a glimpse of Asia:
Please leave comments & thanks for reading!**