Get To Know The Territory Cops

We got to know some of the cops working for the Northern Territory Police Force and found out just what it takes to be a Territory Cop.

With the show returning for a third season this week, we caught up with a few of the cops featured to get to know them a little better. 

Josh Staveley is a Constable for the Darwin City Safe unit who joined the NT Police in October 2017. Originally from South Australia, Josh had previously served for 19 years in the Australian Defence Force.

Jimi Harris, an Aboriginal Community Police Officer, also worked for the Darwin City Safe Unit for five years. A former professional rugby union player, in 2015 Jimi joined the Police Force after injury forced him to retire from the sport.

Territory Cops Season Three Jimi Harris 3

Sarah ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson originally moved from Victoria to the NT for her teaching career, but eventually found herself joining the Police Force. Now with 11 years in the force, Sarah currently works as a Remote Sergeant based on the Tiwi Islands.

Mark ‘Derko’ Derkson has been with the Darwin City Safe Unit for 16 years. The Senior Constable originally moved to the NT when he was 21 to play footy, but fell in love with the area and in 2005 joined the Police Force, deciding to call the NT home.

Why did you join the NT Police Force?

Josh Staveley: I joined the NT Police for a career change. I had previously served 19 years in the Australian Defence Force, in which time I had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan with the Australian Regular Army as well as deployment onboard HMAS Darwin to the Middle East Area of Operations.

Territory Cops Season Three Josh Staveley

Jimi Harris: I joined to learn new skills and gain further experience in dealing with different types of people.

Sarah Hutchinson: I joined to get away from the constraints of the same four walls of the classroom that I was teaching in, to get away from the regular ‘9-5’ life. I also heard so many positive things from current serving NT police officers who told me that policing was a wonderful way of seeing all parts of the NT… they were exactly right.

Mark Derkson: I have always been interested in the Police Force. I was sidetracked for a while with other things in life but finally joined when they were doing the large recruitment campaign.

What is the craziest experience you’ve had whilst on the job?

Sarah Hutchinson: Craziest experience I’ve had working on the Tiwi Islands was a job we needed to attend in our police vessel which was a drunk man who had thrown himself off the local ferry service and into the sea between the Tiwi’s and Darwin. What made it crazier was that the person who heroically lept in to rescue him was also drunk, had forgotten that he didn’t know how to swim, and also needed rescuing.

Territory Cops Season Three Sarah Hutchinson 2_Retouch

Mark Derkson: Lots of crazy things happen. One was flying to san island in the middle of the wet season and in the middle of a massive storm. The pilot could hardly see as he attempted to land on the island at the airport. He missed that one and went around for another go and said if we don’t get it this time we will go back.

What do you love most about your job?

Josh Staveley: The thing I love most about my job is that every shift, whether day or night, is different and anything can change at the drop of a hat. No two days are the same. 

Jimi Harris: Being able to engage with the community whilst proactive policing.

Sarah Hutchinson: I love the excitement of not knowing what is around the corner, meeting a wide variety of different Territory characters, working with some amazing colleagues and learning about and being immersed in the culture of the Tiwi Islands. 

Mark Derkson: It’s always interesting. You never know what and who you will be dealing with from one day to the next.

Territory Cops Season Three Mark Derkson

What has it been like having a film crew following you around at work?

Josh Staveley: Having the film crew with us on our night shifts was a great experience. They are a great bunch of people. Having passengers in the back seat filming for the last 10 weeks has made it feel now that we are missing some equipment.

How do you think being a police officer in the NT differs from other parts of the country? 

Sarah Hutchinson: The NT is such a vast and unique place, we are a very small police force by land area but a very large one by head of population. We are very isolated, which is particularly evident when working in remote communities. Sometimes the closest backup is 100s of kilometres away. Policing in the NT is very much about working with the community.

What is a typical day in the life of a NT police officer? 

Jimi Harris: A day in NT Police is always different, you never know what’s going to happen. Although, as a member of the NT police you should be prepared for anything.

Catch an all new season of Territory Cops Thursdays at 8.00 on 10 and 10 play