Working in the Radio Room is not a job for the faint-hearted – it takes a certain type of character or personality. Nerise Baker is one of only a few civilian operators on the floor with no previous police training or background. It must be a job she enjoys as shortly after retiring in 2017 she was back working on a casual basis.
How do you survive 22 years in the role?
“I love it,” she said. “You develop a thick skin and the ability to give as good as you get.
“It’s a lot busier than when I first started. We have over 10 databases to access now and the levels of information are far more detailed.
“I pride myself on being able to provide the guys on the road with as much information and resources as they could possibly need, as efficiently and quickly as I can.”
As you would expect a lot has changed in 22 years but according to Nerise, one of the best things is the attitudes to women in policing roles.
“When I first started out, women officers were stuck in offices dealing with lost children, nowadays there is more equality,” she said.
“Once upon a time, the attitude was that women needed ‘protection’ and couldn’t cope with the ‘nasties’. There is definitely more respect for women in policing roles and they are seen to be capable in every role.”
And so they should – Nerise herself has dealt with many a phone call about an incident involving people she knew, from the shooting incident involving Sergeant Les Cooper or the wounding incident involving Senior Constable Scott Brierley.
The secret to coping? If there is one, “it’s being able to swear with the best of them,” she said.
Above: Nerise Baker.