Toko­roa po­lice start re­cruit­ing young

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - LUKE KIRKEBY

A group of six Toko­roa High School stu­dents have been given a taste of life with the po­lice.

As part of the Gate­way pro­gramme, where stu­dents are given work ex­pe­ri­ence op­por­tu­ni­ties while still at­tend­ing school, the Level One and Two stu­dents spent Wed­nes­day with the Toko­roa Po­lice to see if it was a ca­reer they might choose.

Through­out the day the stu­dents took part in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing a tour of the sta­tion, com­pre­hen­sion and phys­i­cal com­pe­tency tests, time with a scene of crime of­fi­cer, fin­ger­print­ing, anal­y­sis of the town’s CCTV cam­era sys­tem, and ve­hi­cle safety checks look­ing for the likes of cur­rent war­rant of fit­nesses, reg­is­tra­tions, seat­belts, and li­cence.

Gate­way co­or­di­na­tor Dianne Collins said the stu­dents had re­sponded well.

‘‘We usu­ally run this twice a year but this is the first time we have done it this year and they have been fan­tas­tic,’’ she said.

‘‘They come from a va­ri­ety of back­grounds but they are all in­ter­ested in polic­ing as a fu­ture.’’

‘‘The pub­lic have also been re­ally good about be­ing stopped and spo­ken to by teenagers, They are so wel­com­ing of our stu­dents which will help them on their learn­ing jour­ney,’’ she said.

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Jaks Sher­wood said she was im­pressed by the be­hav­iour of the stu­dents.

‘‘It can be a bit over­whelm­ing for the young ones but we haven’t had any neg­a­tive com­ments,’’ she said.

‘‘One of our driv­ers is for re­cruit­ing so we are look­ing at the younger age group to get them on board early.’’

‘‘Should they want to make a de­ci­sion to join the po­lice a bit later on in their life, they will al­ready have the in­for­ma­tion of what they need to know and how to join, ‘‘she said.

Sher­wood said giv­ing youths a first hand ex­pe­ri­ence of what the po­lice deal with was ben­e­fi­cial.

‘‘It’s about get­ting them in­volved in the com­mu­nity and tak­ing them out to see some of what we do,’’ she said.

‘‘They have been very en­gaged which has been re­ally good.’’

Stu­dents Hay­ley Ban­field, Ethyn Pearce, Ce­jay Bass said the ex­pe­ri­ence has strength­ened their de­sire to join the po­lice.

‘‘We all want to be po­lice of­fi­cers. It’s a hard job, and we’ve learnt about the risks they take but peo­ple have been re­ally good and happy to see us get­ting in­volved,’’ Ce­jay said.

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