Cop this to fight racism

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - LORETTA LOHBERGER

GLENORCHY’S Sur­jen Ma­gar has wanted to be a po­lice of­fi­cer since he was a child.

Mr Ma­gar was one of 15 TasTAFE stu­dents from di­verse back­grounds who spent a day at the Tas­ma­nia Po­lice Acad­emy this week to learn what it’s like to be a po­lice re­cruit.

“I was re­ally ex­cited to do it,” he said.

“I want to serve for the coun­try … hope­fully one day I’ll be able to join here and be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer.

“I [would] feel so proud to be a po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Te Ka Myee Paw, of Glenorchy, said al­though she had no plans to be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer, the ex­pe­ri­ence was a great op­por­tu­nity for young peo­ple who had come to Tas­ma­nia as mi­grants or refugees.

“I’ve learnt a lot,” Ms Paw said. “I don’t want to be a po­lice of­fi­cer but this op­por­tu­nity is a great chance to come and have a look.”

Tas­ma­nia Po­lice Com­man­der Robert Black­wood said the stu­dents from the Stu­dents Against Racism pro­gram had also taught officers about work­ing with di­verse com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple from coun­tries where po­lice are feared.

“A lot of them have talked to us to­day about their fears of po­lice and even when they see us here in Tas­ma­nia they have that in-built fear of po­lice, so what to­day’s been about is try­ing to break down some of those fears,” Com­man­der Black­wood said. He said Tas­ma­nia Po­lice was work­ing to break down barriers and en­cour­age peo­ple from di­verse back­grounds to con­sider a polic­ing ca­reer.

Com­man­der Pearce said the day’s ac­tiv­i­ties were “about dis­pelling some fears about po­lice they may have from pre­vi­ous coun­tries that they’ve come from, ex­plain­ing the ca­reer paths that we have in Tas­ma­nia Po­lice, and iden­ti­fy­ing path­ways for them to join the or­gan­i­sa­tion”. [email protected]

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