Ana Karseladze, 31 years old, Rustavi

I’m Anna Karseladze, chef detective inspector of Rustavi city police first department.

To say sincerely, always in my life, I’ve wanted to do something useful for my country, for the society. Since as a young child, I had had a patriotic spirit, so I wanted to be either a private in the army or a police officer. I liked to pick up a job on which I would feel useful for the country and the society.

I’ve never lived a life of Riley, so I needed great efforts to accomplish my goals. I entered department of law at the university and had to work all night through at the lemonade and beer factory in Rustavi to pay my tuition fees. I used all the chances of student jobs if such were turning up be it cleaning the city streets or some other stuff, I didn’t refuse any job turned up and worked in many places. Meanwhile, I was trying to give myself some intellectual stimulation and keep up to date, so I used to attend different training courses at every opportunity.

For some time, I have worked in the bank too. Despite being able to work with people, I felt it wasn’t my kind of job as I didn’t use to be quite comfortable with it.

So, led by this spirit of doing something that could be of use to my country and the society, I first applied for a job in Lower Kartli police division at the age of 18. Back then, they refused me because of my age; as they explained, you had to be 21 to apply for a police job. However, later, this rule has changed, so now any citizen of Georgia aged at least 18 can begin their application process with a police force. In my 22, I applied again and had done my first interview. I didn’t tell anybody in my family about my intention of starting a police job. I wasn’t afraid someone would go against, I just wanted to tell them after I achieve my goal. My family found about this when I received an official invitation letter to the interview. They didn’t mind and, moreover, approved it. After the interview, nobody contacted me for a long time.

Police academy

Waiting for the interview result, I passed lawyers’ exams, having no desire to work as a lawyer though, despite having done the internship too. Finally, they called and asked me for the next interview, and, as a result, I ended up at the Academy of police. I turned the only girl among 34 boys. I have fond memories of those times since we had great lecturers, who talked about exactly what I came to the academy for. I too wanted to be an exemplary policewoman. I felt really in my comfort zone and was happy to work with lecturers and other people there.
At the Academy, nobody had an attitude that being a woman I was unsuitable for the police job. Although some people, who found I was going to be a policewoman, used to ask if I realize I was going to deal with all kinds of criminals, and if I was ready for that. There were a few attempts at making me change my mind too, but that didn’t really affect me.

However, finally having finished my studies, I had no idea where they were going to assign me as it could be any region. They asked during the interview too if I was ready to go to another district to work. Wanting so much to be in this field and be a policewoman, I, of course, said yes. I think I was really lucky to find myself here in Rustavi. I live and work here for 9 years now.

First, I had to do a patrolling job and, being a detective, couldn’t wait until they assign me to a serious case. A year later, this day came. Although this job in not as easy as they describe it in crime books, I was excited they gave me the case. It was thievery, and I had to solve it all by myself. As the day ended and I finished urgent investigative procedures, I was very happy when I realized I’d done all properly and according to the rules.

Due to my job, I have to always be on the move, arriving at a crime scene or travelling other regions to conduct different investigative works depending on the case. During the whole time of working for the police, I’ve never done anything against my principles and have served my country and people in good faith.
Since I’m a detective, I have to deal with the underage as well. To work with them, you have to pass special exams, and I have this specialty. I deal with victims, suspects and witnesses who are underage, so working with them I try to show good sides of me, that is, not to be a “bad wolf” but create appropriate environment and do my best for them to feel safe.

I also work on domestic violence cases. Years ago, there was a different attitude towards this issue. Fighting domestic violence and violence against women is one of the top priorities for the ministry of internal affairs of Georgia. The ministry runs several information campaigns against domestic violence, as well as detective retraining program. Together with these, they’re working on relevant bills. Contribution of society and particularly women rights activists deserve special mention. Their fight resulted in that domestic violence is the subject of particular attention. When you deal with domestic violence, it matters a lot how you treat the victim; in this regard, I would distinguish Rustavi police.

Family

I’ve been married for 5 years now, have two children – a 4-year-old boy and two years old girl. My parents and husband help a lot with kids. During pregnancy, I’ve worked whole 9 months to the last minute. Also, after the children were born, I’ve used both paid and unpaid maternity leave without any complications. I returned from the leave on the same position as before. As I felt ready to get back to work, my parents and husband helped me with kids. While I’m away, my husband takes all responsibility to look after kids – he changes their diapers and cooks too, if necessary. They are very proud of me and often say their mommy is a police officer.

Author: Nino Gamisonia
Photo: Sopho Aptsiauri

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