This mother and daughter duo are keeping the Furlong family name strong as one helps keep officers fit while the other catches criminals with Northamptonshire Police.
Mum of for four, Zoe Furlong, 53, is the force Health and Fitness Adviser, and having started working for the force at 18, has held a number of different positions.
Speaking about having a policing family, she says: “My mum worked at Towcester Police Station in the 1960s before retiring in 2004. My husband was a police officer for 30 years, he retired in 2019. My daughter is now a police officer and my son is also applying for the police constable degree apprenticeship.”
Zoe’s daughter Victoria Furlong, 28, had her first foray into the police life in 2016 when she joined in a civilian role. She later embarked on her career as a police officer in 2021. She says of her parents: “They are proud, I think! Though I think mum worries about the kind of stuff I’ll be going to and seeing! During my application, I asked if I could have my dad’s retired collar number if I was successful, and it was a touching moment for my parents and I when I was able to attest with it.”
Speaking about becoming an officer, Victoria says: “I did put a lot of pressure on myself during the application process and subsequent training, due to having family and friends in the job and wanting to prove myself. I am told a lot that I’m ‘blue blood’!
“I wanted to be a part of the policing family from my late teens but wasn’t sure if I was best suited as an officer or as a civilian, so initially joined as a civilian in 2016. I did a few roles before moving into the Force Control Room, and when I started dispatching, I knew I wanted to be on the other side of the radio! The driving force behind my application was wanting to become the type of officer I needed in my life nearly a decade ago.”
Zoe talks about her role as the force fitness adviser, she says: “I love helping people improve their fitness and watching their whole personality and attitude change. It’s a wonderful feeling when someone achieves targets, they didn’t believe they could. I think it’s really important our Force has fit, healthy officers to serve the public of Northamptonshire, not only physically but mentally too.”
Speaking about having a family in law enforcement, Zoe says: “I love the fact that it feels like my extended family. Most staff members know me, my husband and my daughter – some even remember my mum, even though she retired 17 years ago!
“My youngest daughter works for the Prison Service, so we used to joke that our family would train the officers to catch the criminals, arrest them and lock them up!
Despite being young in service, Victoria is mature in her views on the job: “I had to deliver a death message to someone to tell them their parent had passed away. They received it well, but it hit me hard afterwards that part of my job is to go into people’s houses and disrupt their lives like that.
“The job is hard but worth it, and you become part of an extended family – I met my best friends through the job.
Talking about what the future may hold for her, Victoria says: “I’d like to follow in my dad’s footsteps and join the Dog Section, but not for a few years yet. I’d like to cement my knowledge and skills on Response before taking on a new role. Then when I’m too old to keep up with the dog, I’d like to get my detective qualification and eventually move into Major Crime where I started my police career as a civilian.”