‘Tough train­ing’ pays off for new cops

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - LAREE TAULA

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.

PHOTO: JOSIE COCHRANE

Re­cruit Wing 303 Po­lice re­cruits stand to at­ten­tion dur­ing their graduation cer­e­mony.

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