Sergeant Michele Rix was a young woman in her mid 20’s when she was sworn into the Queensland Police service in November 2000.
Her career has seen her work throughout the far north in a variety of stations and positions which included Cairns, Port Douglas, Smithfield, the Far North District Drug Squad and now the Far North District Tactical Crime Squad.
She’s performed uniform first response duties as well as 3 years in the drug squad and has a considerable amount of relieving experience in the Smithfield CIB.
Throughout her career, Michele’s had plenty of highlights, but lists being able to see Cape York Peninsula whilst being paid to do her job as being one of her favourites. She’s a down to earth copper and appreciates being in a position to be able to work with, as well as for, some great operators in the policing domain.
Whilst Michele’s now made the rank of Sergeant after 13 years in the job, there were times when she didn’t think she would get that far. Now in her current position as a Sergeant in the Far North District Tactical Crime Squad, she wants to continue to work hard, lead by example and be as good as she can be.
Michele like many of the policewomen I’ve spoken to are extremely grateful our uniforms have improved with the introduction of the cargo style police pants. When she was first sworn into the police service, the issue pants were made of a thick woollen material, which was rather uncomfortable up here in the tropics.
Looking back over her policing career, Michele say’s, “I’m actually thankful that I’ve never been in a position where I’ve considered leaving this job.”
Michele is a real go getter and still after 14 years, loves getting up each day to get ready for her shift.
Michele is a full time shift worker and juggles managing her team at work and her team at home.
She is married to a paramedic and between the two of them, it’s a constant struggle to be organised regarding their shifts.
It’s a matter of sorting out who’s doing what shifts, who’s picking up the kids or doing the lunches etc. Michele’s two boys are aged 7 and 5 and both have grown up knowing only shift work as their home life.
All the juggling is normal to them even though others may think their lifestyle can be crazy.
Michele and her husband’s lives have now got even crazier with the introduction of the kids starting sports, so weekends in particular are quite hectic. Michele is thankful she has great in-laws that help them out, as she often worries about the kids missing out on something because she is away with work or shifts coincide with other activities.
When I asked Michele what she though of policing and if she would recommend it as a career, she jumped in quickly and said, “I would recommend this job to anyone, and I do.
I just have to follow that up by clarifying that you must LOVE paperwork and be able to talk to people from all walks of life. We work in a real melting pot and have to deal with all sorts of problems.”
When I asked ‘Rixie’ if she had any words of advice for career women, she responded from a different angle and said, “Women in this job are still a minority. Women in any male dominated work environment need to work hard like the men in order to gain respect.
We as women also need to make sure that we respect ourselves and then work hard at maintaining that in both our work and private lives.
Poor choices made in the spur of the moment, even in good faith can sometimes come back and possibly haunt you later down the track.
In this day and age, social media plays a big role in many people’s lives so consider what you do long and hard before you do it.”
The Tactical Crime Squad are a specialised group, utilised to support uniform first response units as well as detectives in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), Drug Squad and Child Protection Investigation Unit (CPIU).
They’re able to be deployed at a moments notice throughout our district, which takes in all areas from Cardwell in the south to the islands of the Torres Straits.
Michele is always busy, but over the past couple of months since starting with the Tactical Crime Squad, some shifts have seen her and her team searching local waterways for drowning victims, assisting the drug squad with search warrants and illicit drug labs.
The squad is often out patrolling areas in the community for both property crime offenders as well as drink drivers and general traffic offenders. The team also use conventional vehicles as well as trailbikes and bicycles to get around the district.
Michele has a very busy home and working life and is happy to sum it up by saying, “All in all I love the challenges presented to me each day, and the fact that each shift is never the same as the next.”