Message from the Chief Commissioner

Sen Const Fiona Reid

Thu 2 December 2010

SC Fiona Reid

Name: Fiona Reid

Rank: Senior Constable

What area do you work in?

I am a Crime Scene Officer based in the Brimbank area, west of Melbourne which covers Sunshine, St Albans, Keilor Downs, Sydenham and Melton.

What does your job involve?

As a Crime Scene Officer I attend all high-volume cold crime. For example, I go to burglaries, armed robberies, recovered stolen vehicles, arson scenes and more. I look for fingerprints which may have been left by offenders on surfaces like windows and doors. I do this by brushing fingerprint dust over the surface with a small brush. Once I find a fingerprint, I lift it using special tape, and then I send it to the Fingerprint Branch for identification.
 
I also look for shoe impressions at the scene. I find quite a lot of these especially if the weather has been wet as offenders walk through mud or dirt and leave a pattern from their shoes. I photograph these and also send them to the Forensic Services Department to try and identify the type of shoe the offender was wearing. If the offenders cut themselves at the scene, which is surprisingly quite common, I will take a sample of the blood for DNA and send this to forensics.

I ensure my crime scenes are not contaminated and that all possible evidence is collected, photographed, and sent to the relevant areas for examination.

In my job I sometimes have to go to scenes where people have died and I have to take photos and notes.  From time to time I am also required to give evidence at court.

When did you join Victoria Police?

I started as a police recruit at the Victoria Police Academy on 15 July, 2002. I  graduated as a constable on 27 November, 2002.  I began my policing career at Melbourne East police station in the city and worked there for four years.

Why did you want to become a police member?

I wanted a job that would be different everyday and that was challenging.  Victoria Police has a very good reputation and I wanted to be a part of that. Also, Victoria Police has many different areas that you can specialise in. 
 
What type of training have you done?

I have done lots and lots of training so far. For instance, every six months we are required to attend Operational Skills and Tactics Training (OSTT). This includes target practice, defence techniques, scenario training and more.

I have done radar detection device training, family violence training and the Crime Scene Officer course. This course covered many different aspects of crime scene investigation including photography, DNA and fingerprints. It was challenging, but very enjoyable. Most of our training is conducted at the Victoria Police Academy. 

Do you enjoy being a police member? Why?

Yes, I do very much. I like going to crime scenes and challenging myself to find fingerprints and other evidence because it could result in an offender being arrested and sent to court. I deal mainly with victims of crime now instead of offenders, and I must admit that makes a nice change.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

I would have to say it is never knowing what could happen. I am constantly challenged and deal with many unexpected situations which really test me. When I was working in the city a while ago, a very pregnant lady came in to the reception area of the police station and said she was having contractions.  I quickly took her into a room and called an ambulance. She was in early stages of labour, saw the police sign and came in for help. The lady had a healthy baby soon after, safe in hospital. It just shows that anything can happen. 

What advice would you give to kids who would like to become police when they grow up?

Believe in yourself and do not let anyone make you think you cannot do it. Study hard in your subjects at school and choose your friends wisely.

 
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