Top gun Sarah enjoys the variety of police life
WHEN Sarah Booth joined the NSW Police Force she had never held or fired a gun. Now she is a weapons trainer who has taught and assessed officers all over the state.
"I'd never touched a fire-arm until I was a student at the NSW Police College," the local officer said.
Two years after graduating from the college at Goulburn, Senior Constable Booth became an operational safety trainer.
"In 2004 I completed the trainers' course and I have been a weapons trainer for the past 10 years," she said.
"I have worked in full-time weapons training units in Sydney and at the NSW Police College."
As the only female weapons trainer north of Newcastle, Snr Cnst Booth trains and retrains police annually in the areas of operational safety.
"We are responsible for training and assessing police in weapons handling and defensive tactics," she said.
"We are also responsible for the training of student police at the NSW Police College.
"As an operational safety trainer we are responsible for ensuring that police are competent in the use of all their arms and appointments including firearms, batons, handcuffs, tasers and weaponless control techniques.
"It's not only making sure police know how to use their arms and appointments, it's making sure they know the justifications for their use.
"This is done through a variety of reality-based scenarios such as assaults, domestics, mental health and alcohol-related incidents."
Growing up in Canberra, Snr Cnst Booth worked in gyms and the fitness industry for five years after finishing school.
"I wasn't satisfied or fulfilled with that and I always had a desire to be a police officer so I took the leap," she said. "I also wanted a job that you could do a variety of roles with career stability.
"There are a lot of different opportunities with the police ranging from forensic services, weapons handling, detectives, crash investigation, highway patrol and working with victims of domestic violence."
When she isn't training officers on the firing range every 12 weeks, Snr Cnst Booth is a general duties officer.
She said her 13 years in the police force had seen her work around NSW.
"It was time to settle down somewhere nice and raise a family and we were lucky enough that the opportunity came up in this part of the state," she said.
BATON RELAY AND POLICING ROADSHOW
The relay was launched in March and is travelling across the state, visiting the Tweed Byron and Richmond police commands on June 10 and 12 respectively.
Each command holds a 3-5km relay with local participants.
The relay will be accompanied by a roadshow showcasing the history of women in the NSW Police Force.