WPC Natalie Blake became the first female instructor at the Mounted and Canine Branch. She was described as an excellent mounted officer. WPC Blake says that she was honoured to become the first female instructor at the branch. Details follow in this release.
WPC Natalie Blake, or ‘Amazon’ as her colleagues have come to call her, became the first female instructor at the Mounted and Canine Branch just two months ago. Becoming an instructor was not on her list of goals but her passion for animals and her love of horse riding helped her to feel at home. Determined that society shouldn’t define her based on her gender, she fought with vigour to stand proudly alongside her male counterparts.
Originally from San Juan, she attended San Juan Secondary School where her first career choice was draughtsmanship. The passion for policing came a bit later with her fascination in various real crime docuseries. Encouraged by her now deceased father, she joined what is considered a male-dominated job. 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.
WPC Blake’s first posting was at the St Clair Police Station and 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 refer to her as an excellent mounted officer and recommended her to become an instructor based on her aptitude and work ethic. She grappled with the decision but was encouraged by her colleagues and seniors to do so and after weighing the options she went for it. 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. “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.”
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 officers also do regular patrols through various communities in Trinidad and Tobago, along with ceremonial escort and honour guard duties. She stated that being at the Branch is physically dominating so her advice for anyone wishing to join is to be prepared to work hard.
WPC Blake could not say what her future intentions are, but promised to continue to excel at the Mounted and Canine Branch.