Detective Sergeant - Samantha Ryan
What made you apply for Victoria Police?
Family Violence Command Taskforce Unit
I had been contemplating the Defence Force, but then I studied criminology at University and this led to a fascination into the causes & social impacts of crime. I made a spontaneous decision to join the police force and haven’t looked back since.
Where do you currently work for and give us a ‘day in the life’ of the role?
I currently work at the newly established Family Violence Command Taskforce, which I’m really proud of. I chose this role because I’m excited about the direction that Victoria Police is headed in its battle to prevent violence against women and children. There are different facets to my role here, so I don’t really have a routine day as such. I manage a small team of detectives and it’s my job to encourage, mentor and develop these members. I am also responsible for overseeing complex and challenging investigations into high-risk perpetrators of serious family violence. I have a really enthusiastic, self-driven team, which means I can focus on other areas such as building relationships with external agencies within the Family Violence sector. This is crucial to ensure a victim-centric approach in our investigations and to drive reform in the way we police family violence. It’s a really exciting time to be at the Family Violence Command with the findings from the Royal Commission about to be handed down, and it’s a role where I feel that we really can make a difference.
Did you work for any other units within Victoria Police before your current role?
I did uniform duties for about 6 years, mostly at South Melbourne. Then I worked at the Regional Response Unit, where we conducted plain-clothed proactive investigations, mainly drug related. I was always crime-orientated,and after performing temporary CIU duties at South Melbourne and St Kilda I got a detective position at Broadmeadows CIU. I worked there for about 4 years and then went to Footscray Sexual Offences & Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT). I then got promoted to sergeant at Transit where I was mostly responsible for supervising PSO’s. From there I was seconded to Taskforce SALUS, which investigates sexual harassment, discrimination &predatory behaviour by Victoria Police employees.
Best day on the job?
I can’t think of one particular day that I would describe as my best day on the job. I have lots of memories of what I considered to be good arrests. Foot and vehicle (and even bicycle) pursuits are always memorable of course. Certain investigation break-throughs and good wins at court stick in my mind. My graduation from the academy, and being selected for jobs or promotions along the way, are some of my best days. I’ve been formally recognised for some achievements during my career, which is always a fantastic feeling. But I think when I look back on my career my fondest memories will be of the people I have worked with. There are some fantastic people in this organisation, which is why I still enjoy coming to work each day.
What advice would you give those about to be inducted into the Academy for their training
Listen, learn, study hard and enjoy it! You’ll look back on this as a really exciting time in your life.
Did you require any specific qualifications or additional training for your current role?
I’ve had to complete a number of internal Victoria Police courses to become a D/Sgt including the Field Investigators Course and Detective Training School. I also did the SOCIT course, which is specialised training aimed at better educating us about sexual offending, improving our response to victims, and expanding our investigative and interviewing techniques. I’ve also had to do management courses as part of the promotional process.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time – still working for Victoria Police and if so, in what capacity or unit?
I’ll definitely still be with Victoria Police 5 years from now. I’ve never once considered leaving the job since joining 17 years ago, and I’ll probably stay a police officer until I retire. There are so many different career paths within Victoria Police – it’s just a matter of finding your niche. And if you’re lucky you’ll find a number of different roles that you enjoy. It would have to be an incredibly enticing opportunity to lure me away or a big lotto win! I love my current role, but I can probably see myself back in uniform as a senior sergeant in 5 years time.
What advice would you give others who are considering a career with Victoria Police?
I would highly recommend a career with Victoria Police to anyone – in fact, I’ve talked my brother into applying (Good luck Kristian)! It can be a stressful career and you will be challenged, but there are so many great moments, and so much variety in the work we do, and you’ll form life-long friendships along the way. And whilst you certainly can’t change the world, as I naively thought when I joined the job as an impressionable 23 year old, you still get to help people – and the small differences that we can make to people’s lives along the journey is incredibly rewarding.