Parker is ready to join the beat as a new cop

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - JARRED WIL­LIAMSON

Getting some life ex­pe­ri­ence will bet­ter his ser­vice to the com­mu­nity, Ethan Parker says.

The new po­lice con­sta­ble, ranked se­cond in his wing, will soon be amongst the ranks in South Auck­land.

But be­fore he be­gan his train­ing, the 23-year-old for­mer Al­fris­ton Col­lege stu­dent de­cided to work in­stead of sign­ing up straight out of school.

‘‘As I got older I saw po­lice as a ca­reer op­por­tu­nity,’’ he says.

‘‘I had a bit of ad­vice from other peo­ple to get a bit of life ex­pe­ri­ence and to have a bit more age be­hind me be­fore join­ing.’’

So, Parker took up a job at a lo­cal tim­ber shop and got in­volved in taek­wondo.

There he com­peted in­ter­na­tion­ally and learned a num­ber of skills and val­ues in­clud­ing cour­tesy, perserver­ance and self­con­trol.

Parker says those val­ues are quite sim­i­lar to po­lice val­ues.

It was a shaky start - lit­er­ally - for Wing 303 at Po­lice Col­lege. Their first night was when the Kaik­oura Earth­quake struck.

But the wing of about 40 soon got down to work and bonded quite eas­ily, he says.

Asked about his suc­cess, Parker was hum­ble about the awards he was given.

‘‘I sur­prised my­self a bit,’’ he says.

He was ranked se­cond, with his fi­nal score in­clud­ing all his as­sess­ments, phys­i­cal tests and gen­eral at­ti­tude. But that wasn’t all. Parker was given a de­fen­sive tac­tics award for his ap­proach to hand-to-hand com­bat, taser, firearms and driving.

As well as that, he picked up a re­sponse and preven­tion award. It recog­nised his de­ci­sion mak­ing and prob­lem solv­ing abil­i­ties.

Parker, who will likely work in Ma­nurewa or Pa­pakura, is com­plet­ing fi­nal train­ing be­fore head­ing out on the beat.

Help­ing the com­mu­nity is on his mind.

‘‘I’ve grown up in South Auck- land all my life, I grew up in Ma­nurewa and now live in Pa­pakura,’’ he says.

‘‘I’ve gained a lot from the com­mu­nity from what they’ve given me through sport and ed­u­ca­tion, some­thing I’d like to give back and help out where I can.’’

Wing 303 is made up of 31 men and 8 women.

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