This father’s day, the Queensland Police Service celebrates and thanks all of our officers who juggle their family and work to serve and protect their communities, provide their expertise (and bad jokes), and who ultimately serve as role models for Queensland’s newest recruits.
We spoke with a few officers whose sons and daughters also serve in the QPS about what policing means to them.
Meet Ben and Andrew Smith
Bowling greenkeeper-turned police officer is not something you hear every day, but Inspector Andrew Smith traded in the lawn mower for a badge over 31 years ago and has never looked back.
“I used to observe my local Sergeant driving around in his air-conditioned police vehicle, and I thought, what a great job, I want to do that!”
Inspector Smith also served as an auxiliary fire fighter and figured joining the police would further his involvement in the community. As police officer, he’s been able to work with and meet some great people.
“Having four children, especially when they were young, there was no such thing as work/life balance. I was so committed to my policing career.”
“To this end, I want to acknowledge my wonderful wife for being the person she is and keeping all of us grounded and remaining an extremely close family.” He said.
His son, Constable Benjamin Smith, has followed in his footsteps, drawing inspiration from his father.
“My dad was always my biggest role model, and since joining the QPS I feel as though our bond has become even stronger. Having a cop for a Dad really puts a wise head on young shoulders.”
But, Andrew never expected his son to grow up to be a police officer.
“When he was younger, he wanted to become an Olympic Swimmer. Regardless of what he wanted to grow up to be, I was always supportive of his decision.”
Ben has been serving for just over five months and encourages anyone who is interested in applying to just “go for it.”
“Policing is exciting, rewarding, interesting, and challenging all at the same time.”
Meet Bob & Georgia Knight
Senior Sergeant Bob Knight always thought his daughter, Georgia, would follow her dreams of a singing career. He never thought he would be given the opportunity to swear her in as one of Queensland’s newest constables.
“Georgia was always very confident from a young age. I remember when she was 7 years old, she packed her bag and told us she was leaving home.”
“Her mum and I said goodbye, and she walked to the front gate and turned around and came straight back!”
As a kid, Georgia loved hearing stories from her dad’s work, and, of course, visiting the police station.
“My dad was definitely a lot stricter than my friend’s parents, but he has such a great sense of humour. So many of my memories are something that made us laugh together.” She said.
It’s no surprise Bob didn’t expect Georgia to become a police officer. Before joining the service, she was a singing teacher, performing in musicals across Brisbane and in different singing groups. It wasn’t until Georgia grew through her 20s that she realised she wanted to join the police.
“When I first told Dad, he was hesitant – he knew I’d be good at it, but it’s a hard job and it can take a toll on your wellbeing and personal life. Once I started the process, he became more comfortable with it.”
Bob recently retired with 34 years under his belt, and said that though it’s challenging at times, it’s a rewarding career where you’ll learn and develop a range of skills while serving the community.
Meet Phil, Bailey and Ryan
Senior Sergeant Phil Jacobsen must have done something right, as he’s managed to raise not one, but two police officers – his twin sons, Constable Bailey Jacobsen and Constable Ryan Jacobsen.
“I was completing my third year of a business degree and saw a story in the local paper of how they were recruiting more police. I know it’s cliché, but I really wanted to help people that had been wronged.” Phil said.
Phil was inducted into the QPS in 1994 and has served for almost 30 years.
“I’m lucky to have a supportive wife and together we have worked to provide for our family. It can be a thankless job, so it’s important to keep your life balanced with family, friends and your own personal time.”
Sport has always played a role in keeping the Jacobsen family a tight-knit unit.
“I can remember playing sport as a kid, dad would always get involved whether he was playing alongside us or coaching us.” Ryan said.
For Ryan and Bailey, having a strong role model to look up to and becoming part of the blue family were strong motivators behind their interest in joining the QPS.
“You always have the support of everyone else around you and even now, I run into people my dad has worked with, who knew me as a kid, and they’re always happy to offer advice and guidance.” Ryan said.
Bailey has only been in the QPS for two months but says he uses every experience as a learning opportunity.
“I think my induction was a proud moment for dad, having Ryan and myself in uniform together. I still have so much to learn and I’m grateful I’ve got not only my dad, but my brother to learn from.” Bailey said.
Phil knew the twins had an interest in policing, but encouraged them expand their skills through a trade or tertiary study prior to joining the QPS.
“There are so many moments I’m proud of, I’m incredibly proud of the things both Ryan and Bailey have achieved in their work and personal lives.” Phil said.
For Ryan, becoming a police officer is one of the best decisions he’s made.
“There are so many opportunities to do so many different roles within the QPS, and the experiences you get along the way you just can’t get anywhere else.”
The Queensland Police Service is looking for applicants that seek purpose, direction and meaning from their careers in a different way than they have before.
There is no better time to join the QPS. You’re already ready.
Visit PoliceRecruit.com.au to check your eligibility today.