DC Tara Mellowes joined Leicestershire Police in 2020 when she was in her early 30s.
She previously worked as a dancer travelling overseas before coming back to Leicester to lecture in dance in higher education.
“From a young age I had always wanted to be a police officer and when I saw Leicestershire Police were recruiting again I thought perhaps I had missed the opportunity because I was too old. However, the death of a close family member made me realise that this might be my last opportunity to do what I had always wanted to do so I applied.”
Tara says she fully expected to fail but as she passed each step in the process to becoming a police officer she became more and more excited.
“I became convinced I was doing the right thing and when I passed and walked through the doors of force headquarters for the first time I knew I had made the best decision and I haven’t regretted it.”
Tara now works in the field of child criminal exploitation helping vulnerable young people caught up in county lines drug dealing and criminality.
“Leicestershire is my home force and I feel like I am contributing to the community I grew up in. Policing is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs that I have done and I am so glad that I made the choice to change careers when I did. I strongly believe that all my skills and previous career experience have helped me in the role that I do now. Having life experience certainly helped me and knowing how to talk and engage with different kinds of people is one of the best skills a police officer can have.
“It’s never too late! Whilst I wish I had joined the force a lot younger, the skills and experience I gained in my previous career have been priceless in a challenging and ever-changing environment. I love being a Detective, searching for all the missing jigsaw pieces and working hard to put them all together to be able to try and get justice for the victim.”