First woman graduates as handler in dog unit

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By Rebecca Kuku
CONSTABLE Valentina Kowa, a mother of two, has “broken the barriers” to become the first female dog handler in the police dog unit.
Kowa from East Sepik was the only female to graduate yesterday with a certificate in firearms and explosive detection at the Bomana dog directorate headquarters in Port Moresby with 13 male colleagues from the unit.
Among the 14, four officers graduated with firearms and explosive detection certificates and 10 graduated with the general purpose dogs and handlers.
They underwent an eight-week training programme.
Kowa said it was very challenging for her when she joined the unit.
“As the only female officer in the unit, it was challenging but I wanted to break the barriers,” she said.
“And today, I feel so happy and thankful.”
Kowa challenged young women to be brave to achieve their dreams.
“Don’t be afraid of challenges. Face them and beat them, and become who you want to be in life,” she said.
“It’s a men’s world but women can also do what men can do.
“So accept the challenges and make your dreams a reality.”
Police Commissioner Gari Baki commended the Australian Federal Police for making the training possible.
Baki said the training would benefit the country, especially with next year’s Apec summit.

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