Constable Belinda Nevell has always loved talking to people and finding out their story. Being a police negotiator is the ideal platform for her to continue to develop her communication skills and to resolve incidents while under stress.

In 2015 Belinda was based in Hervey Bay when a shortage of negotiators were identified in the district.

“So when the course was advertised, I was very interested!” Belinda said.

“After completing psychology testing and a panel interview, I then completed the four week course.

“Unfortunately most people that we meet are having a really bad and stressful day. It can be really satisfying to just sit down, talk to them and try to work out a better way to deal with what’s going on. Resolving situations peacefully and without incident is what we do, and helping someone who needs it the most is the best part of the job.

“I wanted to be a police officer since I was a little girl and working as a negotiator gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who perhaps need just a little help to get back on the right track. I never know what to expect when I come to work every day, and that’s something I really enjoy about my job.”

Belinda would ideally like to progress her career to the Criminal Investigations Branch where she can obtain her detective appointment.

Photo for JJ Communication is key in the role of a negotiator

“I think the first step to having a role like this is simply to talk to people. Negotiating is about communication, so take a step back and try to talk to as many different people as possible. Being genuine and empathetic is how we resolve situations in our jobs, even when your patience is being tested. What works for some people will not work for others—every person is unique.”

Anyone in need of support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636