If overcoming personal adversity is one of the things that helps make a good police officer, then Sergeant Sharon Morgan is one of our best.
Sergeant Morgan is the first female Officer in Charge at Gin Gin Police Station, but when she started out in the Queensland Police Service (QPS), she was in a toxic relationship beset by domestic and family violence.
Unbeknownst to her policing colleagues, she was the victim of physical, financial and emotional abuse at home, just like many of the women she was being called out to help in her job.
Born in Sydney, Sergeant Morgan knew from a young age she wanted to be a police officer. She applied to join the New South Wales Police Force when she completed high school, but postponed her plans after she moved in with her partner and fell pregnant with her first child at age 18.
Three years later, and with a second child, she escaped the violent relationship by moving to Queensland where she applied to join the QPS.
She was accepted and began her recruit training at the QPS Academy at Oxley, only to have her partner follow her to Queensland and come back into her life. She recalls having to wear makeup to hide the bruises upon her return to the academy after spending weekends at home.
Graduating from the recruit program and being sworn-in as a police officer was the realisation of a dream for Sergeant Morgan, but the abuse and controlling behaviour continued in secret.
Soon after her third child was born, the situation escalated after an incident that threatened the safety of her children and police were called to her home. The secret was out.
A domestic violence order was issued, and although he attempted to intervene in her life over the following few years, his control over her was finally broken.
She said the police sergeant who attended that day gave her the courage and support to finally move on after seven years in the violent relationship.
“I felt so ashamed. Going to DVs every shift and then coming home and being subjected to it myself,” Sergeant Morgan said.
“That sergeant was brilliant in that he supported me. He was the catalyst to help me move on.”
She said she was able to bring her personal experience to her role as a police officer, particularly when dealing with victims of domestic violence.
“There’s not a week that goes by where I’m not attending a domestic violence related incident, so while I’m not proud of staying so long and being subjected to that and having my children exposed to that behaviour, it’s made me a better police officer because I do have that background,” she said.
After working at Hervey Bay for the following 10 years, Sergeant Morgan was transferred to Childers, where she discovered a love of country policing.
She met her husband there – another police officer – and eventually had the experience and confidence to apply for the role of Officer in Charge at Gin Gin, where she leads a team of six male officers keeping her community safe.
She said the QPS needed a diverse group of people whose life experiences – be they good or bad – had shaped them in a way that enabled them to be a great police officer.
“Everyone has a story. Everyone in this job does it for a different reason, but we all want to help people and that’s the common denominator,” Sergeant Morgan said.
“I’m just a plain girl raised in Western Sydney by her grandparents. I’m not privileged at all, but I just had that vision. It doesn’t matter about your age, it doesn’t matter where you come from.
“There are plenty of people out there who would be great coppers but just don’t think they have it in them. If I can get through what I did, anyone can,” she said.
The QPS is recruiting real life experience, to make a real difference.
Great police officers aren’t born, they’re made, and all the things you’ve learnt, dealt with, experienced, and survived along the way, are the very things that make you.
There’s never been a better time to join the QPS at policerecruit.com.au.
You’re already ready.