‘Tough training’ pays off for new cops
The Government’s four-year plan to bolster the number of police staff nationwide got off to a good start in Porirua with the graduation of 40 new officers.
Among them was South African-born Steven Cullingworth, 25, who had been waiting patiently for his shot since 2015.
‘‘From the time I sent in my application to just getting to Police College took about a year, he said.
‘‘The training was tough but it was well worth it.’’
Cullingworth believed his background had helped him get into the force with police eager to show diversity in their recruits.
‘‘I think it helped that I’m South African and there’s also a big push for women. Out of the 40 people in our wing, only eight were women.’’
However, while the gender split was significant, the range of ages represented in the graduating class had been broad.
‘‘The youngest in our wing was 19 and the eldest 49,’’ Cullingworth said.
His partner Olivia Warburton said attending the graduation ceremony was a ‘‘proud moment’’ after supporting him through the many months of training.
‘‘Spending four months apart was difficult, however, it was reassuring to see Steve love his course. [It] made the distance all worth it but I’m very happy for him to be coming home.’’
The graduation event took place two days after the Govern- ment announced that the number of people applying to join the police had hit a new high following a successful summer recruitment campaign.
It also marked the first Attestation Parade for Minister of Police Paula Bennett since she assumed office late last year
The Royal New Zealand Police College is currently preparing to train 220 additional officers per year over the next four years and will double the average wing size from 40 to 80 recruits.
Recruit Wing 303 Police recruits stand to attention during their graduation ceremony.