Merkitystä työlle -Saara Asmundela uratarina -en

Meaningful work

Detective Chief Inspector, Deputy Team Leader  Saara AsmundelaCentral Finland Police Department, Central Finland Detection and Centralised Investigation Unit

I worked as a translator before I became a police constable. I also did military service, and after twelve months of running around in the woods with an army rucksack on my back, returning to my computer screen at the translation agency felt wrong. I enjoyed the work and had a great employer, but I desperately wanted to feel that my work had meaning. A police training prospectus had appeared on a desk in our living quarters during the last few weeks of my military service. I made the decision to try my luck there and then, and a couple of weeks after returning home, I got the good news: I had been accepted for police training.

I found a job with the uniformed police straight after graduation. Being a police officer has given me that hands-on feeling that was missing in my previous profession. I have helped drunks up from snowbanks after office Christmas parties, returned stolen property to the rightful owner and locked suspects in a cell.

After a couple of years in uniform, I became a detective and began investigating, for example, domestic violence cases and sex offences. I was also appointed Deputy Team Leader. I have continued to train throughout my career with the police and am now our head investigator for crimes against children.

One of the best things about the profession is that the same basic training qualifies you to work in just about any role in the police organisation: your main job can be dusting for fingerprints and vacuuming for fibres, riding a horse on the streets of Helsinki or a boat on Lake Saimaa, lecturing reckless drivers or investigating immigration cases, violent offenders or financial crime.

Previous qualifications and studies can be used to advance either horizontally or vertically. A police officer’s job description is so varied that all kinds of life and work experience are useful. When I was doing my basic training, my course mates included a tree feller, a flamenco dancer, an economics graduate and a shop assistant. I am sure that every one of us had something in our background that helped us on the course, with our training and in our ultimate job with the police.

Working for the police is basically like having multiple careers in one. I believe that fate or my own determination can still lead me to many new challenges, and this job has plenty to offer!

Saara Asmundela.