She's got skills - Corporal Beverley Nairne hailed as the only female outrider in the JCF


Monday, March 25, 2019

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WHILE growing up in Braeton, St Catherine, Beverley Nairne had a bicycle while her two older brothers, who were both police officers, had motorcycles. Her heart was set on becoming a nurse someday, but she was very fascinated by her brothers' bikes. Today she serves as the only female outrider in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Corporal Nairne hopped off her motorcycle for a chat with All Woman at the offices of the Ministry of National Security last week, in which she shared that her mother's grit and grace also played a role in her decision to enlist in the force when she turned 18.

“My mom used to drive a truck, and they say I took the roughness from her,” she laughed. “But I developed a passion, seeing how my brothers were dressed in their uniforms, and I've always wanted to be like them — be like one of the guys, doing the 'man stuff',” she said.

But when she decided that she wanted to become an officer like the boys, one of her brothers, who was very protective of her, did not approve of her riding motorcycles.

“But the next one encouraged me, and I applied and was accepted. I was a bit scared, honestly,” she confessed. “It was as if I was being thrown out into the world. I cried because it was my first job, and although we were monitored, we were still on our own. But with parental guidance and supervision, I decided to make the best of it.”

Posted at the Central Kingston Police Station, Corporal Nairne quickly learned the ropes, and started making her mark. Although she was trained in different areas of law enforcement, she had a special love for the Traffic Division.

“Once at the guardroom I did a lot of accident reports, investigations and statement writing,” she recalled. “One day the person in charge of traffic there made a request for me to come to his office. He said he liked how I did my reports, and how I wrote the statements and carried out investigations, and he was going to send me on the next bike course and make me into a traffic cop.”

In less than a year of being a probationer, young Nairne had aced her bike riding course and was a bike mounted traffic officer. She thoroughly enjoyed the job, and was growing confident as a rider, until she was in her first accident and swore to her co-workers that she would never get on a motorcycle again.

“I was riding along East Avenue and a taxi operator drove out from North Avenue and turned right in my path, and we collided,” she shared.

She was assisted to the hospital and the reckless driver pleaded guilty and was charged, but when Corporal Nairne returned to work, she told her co-workers that she was done with bikes for good. But her colleagues encouraged her to get back on the bike, and she soon regained her confidence.

“Nothing in life is easy,” she reflected. “When you fall, you get up, you brush off, and you go again. If you fall again, you get up and brush off and go again.”

Corporal Nairne kept at it, emulating her older brothers and other senior members of the force, from whom she says she has received 'good teachings', and has followed their examples. In fact, she grew so confident and relaxed on her motorcycle that she learned a few riding stunts. These tricks would help to move her into her current role as an outrider — an officer who is tasked with escorting vehicles carrying government heads and officials, in order to protect them.

“In May 2017 I was sent to escort the former security minister, Mr Robert Montague. While escorting him to the National Police College graduation, he saw my potential and he liked my style of riding. I had stood up on the bike and let go both hands and so on, and he was fascinated by my skills, and requested that I be sent to his team.”

Since then, Corporal Nairne has served as an outrider in the Ministry of National Security, where she now escorts Dr Horace Chang, the current security minister, and other officials when called upon. This is a job that she loves, and she says it works well with her family life and her pursuit of higher education.

“I like changes that come, and because I'm going to school now, it works out for the best. I do go the extra mile once called upon,” the second-year social work student said.

Although she graduated from Jose Marti Technical High School with mainly business administration subjects, she never forgot her childhood dream of caring for people, so social work was her natural preference when considering higher education.

“Throughout my career while working on the road I always encountered the public. They would come to me for advice on any little thing, and sometimes I was able to use even just my common sense and say, “OK, try this, do that, go there”. So I don't regret choosing this path.”

Now 38 years old, Corporal Nairne does not plan on slowing down. Her seven-year-old son is, she says, very skilled at riding his bicycle, and is very much interested in motorcycles. She still resides in Braeton, where she is now returning to them, the nurturing that her elderly parents gave her while she was growing up.

She spends her off-duty time at church, listening to music, and watching investigative drama TV shows and movies. Even when she is off-duty, however, she is still stopped and hailed by members of the public who have seen her in action.

“Being the only female in my capacity, all eyes are on me,” she laughed. “I can't hide. I'm the centre of attention. Even when I'm around doing my personal business, people will tell me that they see me and they lift their hats off to me. It feels good.

“My son inspires me to keep going, and my parents are two wonderful parents. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. There is a scripture that my mom always says — “My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth”, and I always say, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?”

Corporal Nairne hopes to stay on the bike as long as she can, but will be happy serving wherever she is called.

“As long as there is life there is hope, and so as long as there is health and strength, I hope to continue, because it's something that I love and I enjoy doing, but I also enjoy serving the country, so if needs be, I'm open to working anywhere else, wherever I shall serve, as the motto says.”

Corporal Nairne said that she is very pleased with her decision to enter the police force, and encouraged other individuals to pursue their dreams, despite the odds.

“You use your circumstances as a stepping stone to get where you want to go. It is never too late for a shower of rain. You can start life at anytime. There really is no excuse for going through this life and not accomplishing anything. Once you have life, you have it all,” she said.

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