Sat | Sep 19, 2020

My illness was my motivation - Lone female police graduate wants to be a role model

Published:Thursday | January 31, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Dr Horace Chang, minister of national security, presents the award for highest marks obtained to Woman Constable Donique Anderson while Sgt Marguerite Gardnear applauds at the passing out parade and awards ceremony at the National Police College of Jamaica yesterday.
Members of batch 119 at the passing out parade and awards ceremony at the National Police College of Jamaica yesterday.

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Donique Anderson would answer with an emphatic “No!”

The 22-year-old was forced to delay her ambition to join the Jamaica Constabulary Force when a rare illness threw a spoke in her wheel and she had to pull out from the programme the first time around.

“I was part of a previous batch – Batch 117 – when I got in and was in hospital for six weeks. I was worried and could not sleep. I cried for days. While exams were going on, I was in hospital studying. Batch 117 moved forward without me. I am now part of Batch 119, and I graduated,” an elated Anderson told The Gleaner yesterday.

Anderson was the only female among the 196 constables who graduated from the National Police College in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, yesterday.

She also attained the highest overall score for the batch.

“My mother encouraged me. I wanted to work for the Government – to serve my community and country. I wanted to be looked upon as a role model. Being the only female, it wasn’t really that hard. I just did my best.”

The young constable said her undisclosed illness became her motivation.

“My sickness pushed me forward. When I was training and felt a little pain, I would tell myself that I cannot go backward. That pushed me to work very hard to complete it. My vision is for the police to work alongside citizens and vice versa. I want the relationship between the police and citizens to be a better one. They taught us to be respectful. We are expected to treat others equally.”

Her mother, Gem Donald, was also overjoyed.

“I don’t have words to explain. The first time she was there, but did four months of training before taking sick on the 29th of February and [was] admitted to the Falmouth Hospital. I’m excited about her. She is my last daughter of five children. I am mom and father for her.”