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Saturday, October 15, 2005

NZ’s first transsexual police officer

New Zealand’s first transsexual police officer has faced mixed reactions from her colleagues, but support from the police hierarchy.

The senior constable, who does not wish to be named, is based in Christchurch and has been on the force as a man for 21 years. She stunned colleagues last year with her decision to remain on the force while changing her gender. She has recently returned to road policing duties.

Police Association regional director Craig Prior says the officer has the support of her unit, and it shows the make-up of the police was a reasonable representation of the population. “There is obviously a suprrise factor in it, but that will go with time,” he says.

Some officers have privately voiced concerns that the constable’s presence is damaging to the reputation of the police. However the district commander, Superintendent Sandra Manderson, says the constable’s record is very good. “We are dealing with a police officer who has been an effective, efficient and dedicated member.”

Labour MP Georgina Beyer has expressed her support for the constable. “It can be a lonely path to walk and it may be for this person, but at least they know they someone like me to call on,” she said.

Ref: Christchurch Press (c)


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