New constables cosmopolitan lot
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