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Newest traffic cops are females on motorcycles

A milestone in the territory was set recently by the local Department of Public Safety when three of their female officers were certified, after two weeks of intense training, to operate police motorcycles in the territory.

Officers Alisha Godinet, Nancy Toloafa and Petina Pulemagafa received their completion certificates at a short ceremony held at the Department of Public Safety on Wednesday afternoon, March 14, 2012.

Certified Trainers, Officer Utumoe and Sgt Tolia Solaita assisted Officer Utumoe Alefosio administer the female officers' motorcycle training.

Lieutenant John Cendrowski, head of the Traffic Division, said the female officers were suitable candidates for operating the motorcycles and they were selected by Deputy Commissioner Leiseau Laumoli with the approval of Commissioner Tuaolo Manaia Fruean.

“The female officers must be able to pull up the weight of the motorcycle if they fall while riding it and it’s difficult, but these brave women can do it”, said Cendrowski.

Cendrowski, who oversees the training, told Samoa News the two week training course consisted of learning how to operate the motorcycle in different ways.

“For example ...obstacle courses, where the females officers drove the bike in a slow manner around the cones, maneuvered between the cones, offset cross cones... 360 degree turns and stop and turn, which the female cops all aced.”

“There was also a written exam with a passing score of 75% and they all passed. With their commitment already seen here at the Department of Public Safety, the officers fit the job”.

“The female officers selected are dedicated to their jobs, they have the ability to carry out duties as a traffic officer, they also have great socials skills in dealing with the public and most importantly, they have the strength,” stated Cendrowski.

Cendrowski said Sgt Maria Le’iato and every officer with the traffic division all had a part in training the female officers and he’s pleased with the outcome and the female officers who were selected are very brave to take up the call by the Commissioner.

During Tuesday's ceremony, Commissioner of Public Safety Tuaolo Manaia Fruean told the newly certified female officers, they are part of DPS history. He added that this is just the beginning and more female officers will be trained to operate the motorcycles.

The Commissioner said he’s also looking at having female officers learn how to operate the tug boat and the jet skis with the Marine Patrol Division, who oversee what happens out in the ocean.

Officer Alisha Godinet of Leone is the daughter of Ilaisa and Iuli Godinet. She told Samoa News she was overwhelmed when she was selected to undergo this course.

“The training was very challenging at the time but it was all worth it because I have learned much more from the course. The most important issue is handling the motorcycle while on the road,” said Godinet.

Officer Nancy Toloafa of Vaitogi said she’s joyful she was given the opportunity to be a part of history and be selected to take on a challenging task. Toloafa is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Toloafa of Vaitogi.

Officer Petina Pulemagafa told Samoa News she’s happy and confident that she can do the job. She’s pleased she was selected to take on a complex task. Pulemafaga is the daughter of Teufilo and Fa’aeteete Puelmagafa of Aoa.

Officers Godinet and Pulemafaga are with the 23rd Police Academy while Toloafa was with the 22nd Academy.