'I want to be a police officer to make my dad proud', says daughter of PC David Rathband who hanged himself after being blinded by Raoul Moat
Mia Rathband, 14, has set up work experience with Northumbria PoliceWill follow father David Rathband's footsteps into becoming a traffic officerHer father was shot and blinded by killer Raoul Moat in 2010 PC Rathband was hailed for his bravery but killed himself last year
Proud: Mia Rathband, holding her father's police hat, has set up a week of work experience with Northumbria Police
Mia, pictured with her father in 2010, said they used to have long conversations about his work in the force
Mia said: 'I know that dad would have been so proud of me.
'This time of year is very difficult for us. Last year was difficult because it was the first Christmas we had after dad had been hurt. This year is also difficult because he isn't here.
'We think about him a lot and I know he will like the fact that I want to join the police and become a traffic officer like him.
'After my dad was hurt it became more clear what I wanted to do as a job and being a police officer was an option.
'It is a good job and I want to be able to make a difference.'
Murderer: Raoul Moat shot former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart before murdering her new boyfriend Christopher Brown and shooting PC Rathband
Gunman Moat shot his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and murdered her new boyfriend Christoper Brown in Birtley, Gateshead, before blinding PC Rathband as he sat in his patrol car.
The officer saved his own life by pretending to be dead and said afterwards it was the thought of his children that kept him fighting for survival.
The rampage sparked a week long manhunt which ended when the 37-year-old shot himself in July 2010.
PC Rathband was praised for his outstanding bravery and he set up a charity, the Blue Lamp Foundation, which helps emergency services personnel injured in the line of duty.
Mia's mother Kath, a nurse manager, is now championing the charity as patron, while her son Ashley, 20, is a trustee.
She said: 'Mia wants to follow in her dad's footsteps and join the police force.
'Mia is so much like David, she is determined and will succeed in anything she puts her mind to.
'David would have been so proud of her, just like we all are.'
Mia, who is studying for ten GCSEs, has set up a week of work experience with Northumbria Police in June this year.
She said: 'They obviously knew my dad but I had to say why I wanted to get work experience.
'I told them that it was something I really intend doing and I was passionate towards it.
'Once, when there was a car accident near our house my dad ran out to help. I went with him because I was interested in what police do.
'I was intrigued and dad and I would have long conversations about the police force.
'I used to listen to his stories that happened at work. And I know he would be proud over what I am doing.'
Happier times: David and his wife Kath, pictured on holiday in 2003, with a young Mia and her older brother Ashley
PC Rathband, pictured with Duncan Bannatyne, set up the Blue Lamp Foundation to help emergency service personnel injured in the line of duty