“Iceland is inhabited by people from all over the world and society is becoming more and more diverse. Public institutions must function under such conditions, ”says Klaudia Karolsdóttir, a policewoman from Ísafjörður. Klaudia is of Polish origin, she came to Iceland in 2008 at the age of 12. Since 2017, he has served in the team of the Chief of Police in the Westfjords.
To start working in the police, she had to meet all the requirements – be at least twenty years old, pass high school diploma, have Icelandic citizenship and a clean record. This was the response she received from Hlynia Hafberg Snorrason, chief police officer in the Westfjords, when she visited the Ísafjörður police station at the age of 18 and asked what conditions were in place so that she could join the police team. “I took note of this and then returned to the station two years later. I said that I met all the conditions and asked for a job. I was given this chance and accepted. I have been in the police for about four years and I find myself in it “ – sagt Claudia.
Klaudia comes from Łomża. Her father came to work in Iceland in 2005 to support his family when Poland was short of work. “My brother and I flew to Iceland in 2008 and went to Suðureyri where my father had a job. It was quite difficult for me to learn Icelandic, but Snorri Sturluson, my teacher in Suðureyri, helped me a lot, for which I am grateful “ – sagt Claudia.
Die Aufgaben der Polizisten sind vielfältig, teilweise sehr schwierig. “When I had only been at work for three months, I was called on a suspicious incident. Of course, I was not at all prepared for this task, but I had the support of wonderful colleagues. Drunkenness, violence, noise, helping victims in need – I experienced this, as well as operating in the field in bad weather and at high risk. Icelanders respect the police, follow the rules and recommendations that apply, although there are certainly people who oppose them. It always happens, but then you just have to take matters into your own hands, not wait patiently “ – sagt Claudia.
The area of operation of the Ísafjörður police station stretches from Dynjandi in the south, via Bolungarvík, to Ísafjarðardjúp – a total of seven urban areas and around 5,000 inhabitants. In Ísafjarðarbær, around a fifth of the population are immigrants.
“Sometimes, during patrols, we have to talk to people of Polish origin, whom there are many in the area. A meeting with a Polish-speaking policewoman is a surprise for them. It also means that I have become a point of contact with the police for many of my compatriots in the region. Various matters and inquiries regarding traffic, rights and more, often go directly to me, which I like very much “ – fügt Claudia hinzu.
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