It was a dream come true for Lupe Ta’alo Leota who followed in her father’s footsteps of law enforcement in Samoa.
“My father was my biggest role model, and I always wanted to continue his work as a police officer in the future and here I am achieving that goal,” said Ms Leota.
Ms Leota was amongst 24 new recruits who graduated as law enforcement officers to serve Samoa with integrity.
As the second child of seven siblings, Ms Leota believes that she can do what her father did and she can do it better.
Her father, former Senior Sergeant Ta’alo Leota, he said he is very proud of his daughter because it was a dream come true not only for his daughter but for him as well.
“I never thought that she would want to become a police officer like me,” said Ta’alo.
Ta’alo said his daughter applied last year when she was only 20 and 8 months old. However, her application was rejected by the panel because she was too young and they only accepted people who are at the age of 21 and above.
“I was very disappointed at first because she was four months away from reaching the age of 21 but her application was rejected,” added Mr Ta’alo.
Ta’alo said these are the kind of people that the Ministry should look at to recruit because they are the future of Samoa.
This year, Ta’alo said he is very thankful that the Ministry is able to accept the younger age and the over age people.
Mr Ta’alo said he brought back his daughter this year because he believed she could be a good officer in the future.
Ms Leota is in her second year of study for her Bachelor of Arts and her studies are being put on hold because she wants to focus on her training as a policewoman. “I always wanted to serve Samoa, and I believed this is the only way to serve my country,” said Ms Leota.
Ms Leota said people respect the officers because they are the protectors of the nation and they should prove that to the whole of Samoa who they are there to protect them.
She said with this kind of job she will be able to understand the law of Samoa and protect our people.
“This is where I see myself in the future and I wanted to prove that I can do what men can do,” she added.
Ms Leota was in second place of their new recruits this year and she was the best all rounder.
“I thank my parents for their continuous support and my father who motivated me to become a policewoman,” she said.
She also acknowledged the support of their trainers.
Ms Leota said she is planning to go back and finish her studies, but for the time being, she needs to give it all she’s got for her new beginning of her journey as a Police Officer.
Ms Leota graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 2012, attended Foundation Year in 2013 and studied for her Bachelor of Arts in 2014. She has two more years to go to complete her B.A.