The newly promoted officer works in the new control centre at Cannington, the nerve centre of the Frontline 2020 model being trialled in the state’s busiest police district.
Sgt Collins oversees and prioritises all calls for police attention, deciding whether to alert Cannington and Armadale-based urgent response teams or Kensington and Armadale-based detectives.
For more entrenched issues about crime in specific areas, she will contact local teams at district stations in Belmont, Kensington, Cannington, Canning Vale, Gosnells and Armadale.
‘The whole thing is pretty exciting,’ she said.
‘It’s given us a sense of greater control.’
Sgt Collins decided to join the force 15 years ago after previously working in auto parts sales.
At the time, the single mother to a two-year-old son did not focus on climbing the ranks.
‘My priorities at that time were about my son, to provide a decent future,’ she said.
‘It seemed a job with honour, security and a chance to do something good for people.’
After 15 years in the district, in roles including forensics, intelligence and traffic, she decided to embark on the gruelling selection process for promotion.
‘Someone I respected told me I would be applying,’ she said.
She said there were many more women officers than there were 15 years ago, but more diversity would always be welcomed.
‘I’ve never felt I had to compromise myself to be one of the guys,’ she said, adding that the challenges of being an officer were no different for men than for women.
‘You need the ability to adjust,’ she said.
‘Don’t compromise your morals or what you do, but you have to be flexible and step out of your comfort zone and push yourself or you get complacent.
‘Every day when you come to work, you don’t know what you’ll be faced with.
‘It’s like having teenagers; now that’s a little harder than work sometimes.’