A Letter to my ‘Sisters in Blue’ 👮‍♀️

Reflections on 11 years in a toxic sludge police culture

Nikki Waterson
7 min readFeb 3, 2022


Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

Why I’m writing this article

I don’t often talk about policing in a public forum like this. And I’ve been absent from Medium — I’ve been sick.

Most cops I know can relate to rarely sharing anything online about our work. Let alone about our incredibly fucked up work culture. I know that so many of my blue sisters here will appreciate that feeling.

But here I am, I’m taking the plunge. So how did it happen? Well I just was finally able to put something into words recently and today I was reminded of it.

And if you don’t agree with my post, I’m open to your thoughts. I recognise everyone has different experiences. What I can say is that this is my experience and my view, 100%. My aim is to hopefully validate things others might be feeling or experiencing.

About my experience in the Police

I’m an Australian based cop — a criminal investigator. But I’ve been off work for a year now. In 2018 I developed a neurological disability. Technically it’s not work related, so I’m on my own in all treatment, expenses and the effect it’s had on my career. But in actuality it’s a disorder that is caused by an autoimmune response, which stress contributed to significantly. It’s definitely work related, I just can’t prove it.

I found it hard to fit in to the police culture, back when I started around 11 years ago. I was always told I was:

  • Too opinionated
  • Bossy
  • Stepping out of line
  • Too smart for my own good
  • Lacking commonsense
  • Thought I was a higher rank than I was
  • Should just be quiet.

I get it, I was high-spirited and ambitious. That’s scary for people who feel threatened easily.

But I’ve always been ready to hear feedback, have a go, and really change my actions if someone suggests a better way of doing things. I’ve always admitted that I make plenty of mistakes.



Nikki Waterson

🎨 Artist ➕ Entrepreneur 💡 🐾 Rescue ➕ Marketing 🤓 🙋‍♀️ Socials ➕ Free Tools 🔽 💜 https://elink.io/9176e8a 💜