Our super policewoman is top of the cops
DRAWING a confession from a criminal is just one facet of the job for police officer Kim Cavell.
For the Maroochydore detective, the role is also about supporting families facing some of their darkest days.
Murders, sudden deaths, drug rings and robberies are all in a day's work for the Criminal Investigation Branch detectives, but traumatic for the victims.
Detective Sergeant Cavell's dedication to the job and the Sunshine Coast community has earned her the title of Australasia's best female investigator.
The 44-year-old has been named the Most Outstanding Female Investigator at the Australasian Council of Women and Policing's 16th annual Excellence in Policing Awards.
Det Sgt Cavell, who was nominated by her boss, Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards, was praised for her high level of commitment in investigating serious and major investigations.
"I was blown away to even get nominated," Det Sgt Cavell said.
"Being at this conference and seeing all these wonderful women who are so skilled and experts in their field, and then there's little old me here at Maroochydore, just really makes me humble and so proud to win this award."
A police officer for 25 years, Det Sgt Cavell admitted she just "fell" into it.
She has spent almost her entire service on the Coast after graduating from Caboolture State High School and joining the academy at age 19.
An opportunity to step up into the Criminal Investigation Branch led her on the path to being an investigator.
"One defining moment for me was watching a detective in the early '90s, Dale Thompson, deal with an offender, and got this person to admit his crimes and the way he talked was just like magic," Det Sgt Cavell said.
"I knew that's what I wanted to do one day. It's about communication and talking to a variety of people and showing respect to witnesses, offenders and victims."
Det Sgt Cavell said the recent "one punch can kill" campaign in the wake of the deaths of Bruce Steensen and Wayne Dover had been eye-opening for her.
"What was important for me was to assist the family members, because we are more than just investigators," she said. "We need to engage with them while they are going through an horrific time and don't understand all the processes."
Det Sgt Cavell emphasised that policing was a team effort.
"It's long hours, around the clock trying to solve these cases, but when there's a murder investigation or something like that to solve, everyone gels and works as a team to get it solved," she said. "We feel for the families and want to help them.
"It's a job I love ... I feel blessed to be in a job that I love in a place I love."