Po­lice re­cruits put through their paces be­fore col­lege

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

Be­com­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer takes more than per­fect­ing a steely stare and looking good in blue.

Ev­ery Tues­day morn­ing, hope­fuls go through a se­ries of aca­demic and phys­i­cal tests at Auck­land Po­lice Re­cruit­ment in Green­lane.

And ev­ery Thurs­day morn­ing, those who passed are put through their paces at the Auck­land show­grounds, vault­ing over walls, push­ing trail­ers and drag­ging dead weights.

Then it’s 19 weeks of train­ing at the Po­lice Col­lege in Welling­ton.

Phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer James Camp­bell is one of four train­ers who take re­cruits through the phys­i­cal com­pe­tency test.

Sworn po­lice of­fi­cers also have to pass the test ev­ery two years.

“It’s all about how we man­age them. We warm them up prop­erly, have a good stretch and take them through the skills first. Safety is the main thing.”

The ob­sta­cle course also shows how well the re­cruits com­plete the chal­lenges un­der pres­sure.

Re­cruit­ing sem­i­nars run ev­ery Mon­day night from 7pm at the Green­lane sta­tion and ev­ery sec­ond week around the rest of Auck­land.

In­spec­tor Gary All­cock says num­bers are in­creas­ing, with 57 peo­ple at­tend­ing the first sem­i­nar of the year on Jan­uary 19, about 30 more than last year.

“There were 110 peo­ple at the south Auck­land one on the Tues­day night and 103 peo­ple at Hen­der­son on the Wed­nes­day night and it’s been like that ever since.”

About 10 per­cent of those peo­ple go on to be suc­cess­ful po­lice col­lege grad­u­ates, he says.

Mr All­cock says the tele­vi­sion re­cruit­ment cam­paign is get­ting the mes­sage out and will be helped by a new re­al­ity show about po­lice, fire and am­bu­lance staff called Emer­gency He­roes, set to screen later this year.

Po­lice are also work­ing with Unitec to pro­vide a pre-en­try course for peo­ple wor­ried about the aca­demic test­ing part of re­cruit­ment.

“Most of th­ese peo­ple are then able to come into the re­cruit­ing course.”

There are also English lan­guage cour­ses where ap­pli­cants are in­tro­duced to po­lice jar­gon and re­port writ­ing.

For those not ready for for­mal re­cruit­ment, there’s also a pre-col­lege em­ploy­ment pro­gramme that in­volves work at po­lice sta­tions and gives would-be re­cruits the chance to brush up on nec­es­sary skills.

Mr All­cock says polic­ing is not the job for every­one.

Suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants need to have good cop­ing skills, a sup­port net­work of fam­ily and friends and be able to switch off at the end of the day.

“It can be stress­ful and you don’t want to have that stress at home.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on join­ing the po­lice, go to www. new­cops.co.nz or phone 0800 NEW COPS (0800-6392677).

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Tall or­der: Rory Wil­liams takes a leap at the wire fence in the ob­sta­cle course.

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