Meet new NBPD officer Victoria Wagner

The newest member of the New Bedford Police Department proves that the road to a goal can take some interesting twists and turns.

Victoria Wagner, 28, had always wanted to join the New Bedford Police Department but the timing hadn’t been right until now.

She graduated from high school on Cape Cod and received a degree in psychology from Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I.

With no positions available at the NBPD, she worked in a residential facility for a year before becoming a bereavement counselor for a hospice program for four years.

Those four years taught her lessons she plans to transfer to her police work, including compassion and understanding. “Working in hospice brings an understanding of emotions that people have,’’ she said. “We are often called into situations where people are at their worst and are experiencing loss and sadness.’’

Officer Wagner received the top academic award in the police academy, the first such honor for a New Bedford Police recruit in recent memory. She and her fellow officers graduated April 14.

She credits that award with keeping up with her coursework day by day, rather than wait until exam time. “I tend to throw myself into what I’m doing 100 percent,’’ she said.