Sophia alumna from LInnaeus University

Alumni Story: Sophia works for the benefit of her police colleagues

Sophia Willander went from operational police work to a trade union role at the Swedish Police Union. Today, she works full-time to ensure that her colleagues have the best possible professional lives.

Sophia began her career as a response police officer in patrol cars in Malmö.

 "I stayed there for many years, with some shorter periods at the Police Command Centre and the investigative unit. I was also the manager and officer in charge of a group of response police officers for a few years," Sophia explains.

When she was elected chair of the Swedish Police Union South, the role could not be combined with operational police duties.

"I have been fully engaged in the work at the Swedish Police Union for almost ten years now. As chair of the southern region and as a member of the National Board of the Police Union," says Sophia.

What she likes about her job is the unpredictability, the meetings with all kinds of people, and their fates, both within the union and the police.

"As a police officer, I work to promote democracy, and I follow the old police values to 'protect, help, and put things right.' My trade union involvement is somewhat related, but I work to ensure that my colleagues have the best possible professional lives," Sophia continues.

Sophia also appreciates that no two days are the same.

"I split my time between the southern region and Stockholm, and there is quite a bit of travelling involved. I take part in negotiations for better conditions, meetings with the Justice Committee, prepare presentations, meet my colleagues/union members, and provide support in discussions between employer and individual members. My days look very different and range from the smallest things to the big picture, such as exerting influence for legislative changes," she explains.

She remembers her police training with joy and it has been crucial for her career.

"The training was incredibly fun! It was the best time of my life. I made friends for life and gained fundamental skills within the profession that were directly necessary for me to be able to start the cadet period. I could not have worked in my role as a police officer or in my trade union role for the Swedish Police Union without my police training. It has meant everything," Sophia concludes.