Senior Constable Loftus was Made For It

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Having life experience is essential for policing according to Senior Constable Danielle Loftus, whose recovery from a serious childhood accident saw her defy expectations and go on to achieve her career ambitions.

Senior Constable Loftus was 10 years old when she was hit by a car on the way home from school. She remembers nothing of the crash, but a severe head injury left her unable to find the words to communicate.

Her prognosis was poor initially, but with determination and family support, Senior Constable Loftus gradually regained her memory and language skills and was able to return to school.

She had been told a number of times over the following years that her head injury could limit her career options, but at age 25, and seeking new opportunities, she decided to give policing a go anyway.

She declared her head injury on the application form, passed the fitness tests and other challenges and was accepted into the recruit program, graduating at 26 years of age.

Senior Constable Loftus was inducted into the QPS in 2001.

It didn’t take long for her to realise she’d picked the right career.

“My first year of policing was at Mareeba, which is a regional area and it was here I started learning about road safety and how to operate the equipment,” Senior Constable Loftus said.

“It wasn’t until I started investigating traffic matters that I fully appreciated the trauma of what I had been through as a child and how lucky I was to have survived without any major disabilities.

“I knew I had something new to bring to educating people about road safety and it was definitely about communicating the consequences of road trauma.

“From here I just grew towards working with the community and speaking with young people in schools,” she said.

After her initial years as a general duties officer, Senior Constable Loftus followed her passion for working with young people and successfully applied for a position as a School Based Police Officer at Bundaberg.

Echoes of the past had begun to catch up with her however, and she began to develop migraines while still in Mareeba, which saw her unable to drive a police vehicle for a time.

She temporarily performed other duties at the Mareeba Watchhouse until medication brought the migraines under control, but after her move to Bundaberg, they began to trouble her again.

Compounding the issue this time was a mobility problem with her arm, which required an extensive medical investigation to determine the cause, along with rest and rehabilitation.

She said with the support of the Queensland Police Service (QPS), she was able to reassess her abilities and steer her career in a direction that both fulfilled her ambitions and allowed her to perform her duties as a police officer.

“I had a number of senior officers that supported me through a process called reasonable adjustment,” she said.

“It was recognised that I had skills in different areas such as crime prevention and I was able to still continue and support my colleagues, the Service and the community as a police officer,” she said.

Senior Constable Loftus has continued her work with the community, working in the area of Crime Prevention. She is currently working as a Domestic and Family Violence Officer, a role that she considers a privilege.

She said in her experience, women have equal career opportunities in the QPS as their male counterparts, including those who choose to have a family. 

“I’ve had three children and have had different times off to look after my children and still been able to progress with my career,” she said.

“Empathy and the ability to listen are essential components of being a police officer, and becoming a mother has added to the lived experience I’ve been able to bring to the job.

“I’m certainly glad I chose a career in policing. There is lots of variety and I’ve been really fortunate to work in schools and community groups and get programs together that assist our community,” she said. 

Senior Constable Loftus was invited to be a local guest speaker at a ZONTA fundraising breakfast late last year. She is pictured with keynote guest speaker Laura Bos from Small Steps 4 Hannah and 16 Days of Activism Coordinator Annette Baldry (ZONTA).

The QPS realises that, more often than not, it’s what’s inside that makes an incredible officer, and is recruiting real life experience, to make a real difference.

Every little thing you’ve learnt, dealt with, experienced, and survived along the way, was the very thing that made you the perfect cop.

There’s never been a better time to join the QPS at policerecruit.com.au.

You’re already ready.

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