New con­sta­bles cos­mopoli­tan lot

Otago Daily Times - - General -

WELLING­TON: The lat­est crop of con­sta­bles to grad­u­ate from the Royal New Zealand Po­lice Col­lege have in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing a Bri­tish sol­dier who served in Afghanistan and an­other who is be­lieved to be New Zealand’s first Assyr­ian po­lice of­fi­cer.

Con­sta­ble James Allan, who will be de­ployed to Can­ter­bury, won the Bri­gadier’s Com­men­da­tion Coin for his work teach­ing troops search tech­niques while he was sta­tioned in Afghanistan with the Bri­tish Army.

Other re­cruits in Wing 307, who grad­u­ated this week, have served in the New Zealand Army, South African Navy and the Royal Ma­rine Com­man­dos.

Con­sta­ble Ti­mothy Nick­son­Clarke, who was pre­vi­ously a po­lice em­ployee with spec­i­fied lim­ited con­stab­u­lary pow­ers, said his ex­pe­ri­ence would serve him well.

‘‘My time with the [Manukau] cus­tody unit was in­spir­ing and, at times, scary,’’ he said.

‘‘Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing gang cul­ture, vi­o­lent de­tainees and peo­ple af­fected by drugs and al­co­hol was chal­leng­ing at first.

‘‘But I learnt the im­por­tance of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and felt the sat­is­fac­tion of de­es­ca­lat­ing a sit­u­a­tion which may have turned ugly.’’

An­other grad­u­ate, Con­sta­ble Mariam Oshana, was born in Iraq and speaks three lan­guages — Assyr­ian, Ara­bic and English.

It is be­lieved she is the first fe­male Assyr­ian po­lice of­fi­cer in New Zealand.

She said know­ing Ara­bic and Assyr­ian would help her to break down bar­ri­ers and build rap­port in the com­mu­nity, forc­ing peo­ple to see past the uni­form.

Con­sta­ble David Klahn, who will be posted to Coun­ties Manukau Dis­trict, will be pre­sented with the Min­is­ter’s Award, which recog­nises the top stu­dent af­ter col­la­tion of all course as­sess­ments.

Aged be­tween 19 and 45 years of age, the grad­u­ates are be­ing de­ployed to Can­ter­bury, Coun­ties Manukau, Auck­land, Waitem­ata, Bay of Plenty, East­ern and Welling­ton dis­tricts. — NZN

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