Plain Clothes Senior Constable Jacqueline Kissel kicked off her policing career when she was sworn into the Queensland Police Service in August 2004. She was appointed to the Innisfail police station for her first year on the job training.
She worked her way up the coast and settled at Edmonton Station where she performed first response duties and got her first taste of working in plain clothes at the Edmonton Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). It was then that she realised she was hooked on the idea of branching out into plain clothes. A 3 week relieving stint in Weipa saw Jacqui love the community and made her sign up for a two year tenure period as soon as she got home to Edmonton.
Jacqui packed up her young family and headed north to Weipa for a further two years performing a variety of jobs as a first response uniform officer. That first few years in uniform saw her gain the experience required to secure a permanent position within the Weipa CIB as a Plain Clothes Senior Constable.
Looking back at her career, Jacqui says, “I must say that the last ten years have flown by and I have really enjoyed my job. I love that I was fully supported while having my two children and was able to come back and further my career in the Criminal Investigation Branch.
I enjoy the challenges of working in the Cape and love that I get to do the majority of the job myself including the initial scene analysis.”
Jacqui has been involved in a number of crime scenes but rates a luxury yacht as a unique change to the stock standard home or street in her community. When I asked her about her favourite part of the job, she was adamant, “I still believe the best part of the job is the like minded people I work with.”
Weipa CIB covers a large area including four indigenous communities as well as the Cape communities of Coen and Weipa.
Jacqui quite rightly points out, “I’m lucky to be exposed to general CIB work like property offences, drug matters, serious and sexual assaults as well as jobs involving juvenile crime and child protection investigations, so my job is never boring.”
From uniform to plain clothes is a big change, but becoming an appointed detective takes time, experience and a dedication to the craft. At present Jacqui is working her way through the extra study and assessments and hopes to secure her appointment by the end of next year.
Family life in Weipa is a very good fit for Jacqui and her family. Her husband is loving his regular fishing and hunting trips and she expects that any attempts to move from Weipa in the future will be a hard one for the family to come to grips with. Both her daughter aged 7 and son, 5 have spent most of their childhood living in Weipa so they have their own little network of friends.
Juggling a career and a young family seems to be a consistent theme for our policewomen and the issues are endless. Jacqui says, “Some days I feel like my main job is an event planner as I’m constantly juggling life. Organising two school aged children, their numerous co-curricular activities, housework, my husband, work and some level of fitness is hard work.”
Jacqui does have a live in Nanny to help out as their remote location away from family support has been difficult. Regardless of what’s gone on each day, she points out she always hits the pillow exhausted.
At no point in her career has Jacqui ever wanted to pack up and leave. Even when she was on maternity leave after having each of her children, she was keen and ready to get back to work.
Jacqui is quick to recommend policing as a career for both men and women. She says, “This is a very rewarding career. You are constantly challenged and have an opportunity to plan your career to suit your changing lifestyle. You get to work among great like minded people and overall you get a great satisfaction from helping others on a daily basis.”
With her experience under her belt, Jacqui has some valuable advice for working women and says, “There’s only 24 hours in a day and often as a modern working Mum you want to have a clean house, well cared for children, a productive career, be fit and healthy and attend numerous social events but sometimes you have to concede that it all doesn’t fit into one day and you can only do the best you can. I firmly believe that you can’t sweat the small stuff.”
Jacqui’s take on life is very refreshing and I loved a statement she made when she was relaying how she felt. She loved a quote by an unknown person, “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, screaming “Holy S@#! what a ride!”
I concur and will add to that by saying, “don’t forget to have a good old belly laugh each day, hold on tight and enjoy that ride!”