Woman police constable Natalie Blake, or “Amazon” as her colleagues call her, has become the first female instructor at the Mounted and Canine Branch.
She became an instructor two months ago, even though it was not originally on her list of goals.
But her passion for animals and her love of horse riding helped her to feel at home, the Police Service said in a statement.
Originally from San Juan, she attended San Juan Secondary School, where her first career choice was draughtsmanship.
The passion for policing came later with her fascination with various real-crime docuseries. Encouraged by her now-deceased father, she joined what is considered a male-dominated job, the statement noted.
She started her career in policing in 2003 as a Special Reserve Police, and was later absorbed into the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service in 2009.
Blake’s first posting was at the St Clair Police Station, and she has since worked in various units such as Community and Crime Prevention, Divisional Task Forces, Court and Process, and Police Administration, before applying and going to the Mounted and Canine Branch in 2017, where she became the first female top trainee.
Her seniors describe her as an excellent mounted officer, and recommended her to become an instructor based on her aptitude and work ethic.
Although training was tough due to distance and situational factors, her husband and three children were her biggest supporters, as they kept her focused through all the challenges, the statement said.
“There’s a level of pride when my children ask to come to work with me, or some family members asking to visit my job and take pictures with me.
“I am honoured to be the first female instructor at the branch as I am also the first female to successfully train a new horse that was acquired by the branch last year.
My intention is to be an exemplar to not only upcoming female officers, but every young female in society. Don’t let others’ perception of you define what you do, you’re more than what people say you are and if you have a passion follow it,” Blake said.
She also debunked the myths that officers don’t work at the Mounted and Canine Branch.
She explained that the branch is heavily involved in community policing, which plays a major role in the fight against crime, the Police Service said.
The officers also do regular patrols through various communities in Trinidad and Tobago, along with ceremonial escort and honour guard duties.
Blake stated that being at the branch is physically dominating, so her advice for anyone wishing to join is to be prepared to work hard.