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1800th new police constable graduates

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News from NZ Government
The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all over the country since October 2017.

Coalition achievements in police recruitment and community safety initiatives include:

· 2019 projected to see the largest increase in Police numbers, outside the merger of Police and traffic safety services in 1992-1993, since Police were first established in 1886.

· Total Police workforce is now the largest it has ever been, and expected to surpass 14,000 by early 2020.

· Police constabulary stands at 9838 officers, an increase of more than 11% since the start of the 2017-18 financial year.

· The current recruitment drive has seen the number of Maori Police officers exceed 1000 for the first time, the number of female officers exceed 2000 for the first time and Pasifika officers exceed 500 for the first time.

“After nine years of neglect the Coalition Government has well and truly turned around the decline in numbers of frontline police who help keep our communities safe,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“I’m incredibly proud that this year the Government will deliver the largest growth in police numbers ever recorded in a single year, outside of major restructuring, since the Police force was established in 1886.

“I grew up in a Police household and I know first-hand that frontline officers are at the heart of every neighbourhood, rural district, small town and big urban centre,” says Jacinda Ardern.

“The graduation of Recruit Wing 332 is an historic moment for the Coalition Government. It delivers on a fundamental promise to help Police focus on crime prevention and build safer and more connected communities,” Winston Peters said.

“The Coalition Agreement made a strong commitment to increase the number of new Police to help tackle organised crime and that is exactly what we are delivering on.

“The big increase in Police numbers means we now have significantly more frontline officers for communities outside the main centres in provincial New Zealand which was forgotten by the previous Government.

“The rollout of new Police has set records all over the country, especially regions like Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Eastern and Central Districts and the South Island,” Winston Peters said.

“The wellbeing of communities has always been central to our Government’s programme,” says Stuart Nash. “The constables graduating today have a tough job ahead of them. They will work to remove unlawful firearms from our communities, fight the threat from organised crime, gangs and extremist networks, reduce harm from methamphetamine, and disrupt transnational crime, child sex exploitation, and cyber-crime.

“Police are committed to reducing family harm, cutting the road toll, and responding to mental health callouts which have now grown to around 33,000 a year.

“Wing 332 continues the strong commitment to increased diversity in Police. There are 11 foreign-born officers in the latest wing, who speak ten foreign languages between them. One new officer is the first Afghan-born woman to join New Zealand Police, after arriving here as a seven year old. One is descended from a “Peeler”, or London Police officer from the 19th century, and another has family members in the police in India.

“Forty-two per cent of this wing are women, 15 per cent are Maori, five per cent Pasifika and five per cent Asian. The youngest is 18 and the eldest is 40. They all have great cause to be proud of their achievements today, and we are proud of them,” Mr Nash says.

Current Police projections indicate that the growth in FTE Police officers will be around 500 for the 2019 calendar year. This is the largest growth in Police numbers ever recorded in a single year without major restructuring. Previous records were set in 1992-93 when the traffic safety service of the Ministry of Transport merged with Police; and in 1886 when Police were first established as an organisation and grew from zero to 494 officers in one year.

A new recruit wing starts at the Royal New Zealand Police College next week. At that point there will be 280 Police recruits in training. They will be spread across six training wings: four at the RNZPC and two at the Auckland-based training sites. It will mean that 900 people will have started training as Police officers during the 2019 calendar year.

Police recruits are paid a total remuneration package equivalent to $45,059 per year while training, made up of salary, superannuation, and life insurance cover. In the year to October 2019 almost 6,700 people applied to become Police officers. The previous record was set in 2017 when 6,530 people applied following the launch of “The World’s Most Entertaining Recruitment Video” by Police.

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News from NZ Police
When the 59 new constables of Wing 332 graduate from the Police College in Porirua today, one of them will be the 1,800th new constable to head to the frontline since October 2017.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will join the new constables at the graduation ceremony to celebrate this milestone, with Police Minister Stuart Nash and Commissioner Mike Bush.

On parade will be two new constables who have shown they are not easily deterred from their goals. Constables Jonathan Croxton and Jamie-Leigh Woodhead both came up against hurdles when applying to join New Zealand Police – but with some “fixing” they’re now embarking on their new careers.

Jonathan says when he checked the application requirements he realised there were a few reasons why he wouldn’t meet the standard. “Poor eye sight, no driver licence, poor swimming ability, and so on. But fixing these things seemed like a good challenge.” Laser eye surgery, the driver licensing process and swimming lessons followed and after about three years of preparation he was ready for Police College.

When Jamie-Leigh Woodhead’s first application to join Police failed, she took a different approach by becoming a Corrections Officer. She says her experience working in the prison environment for over four years has paid off, making it a great stepping stone into her dream job in Police.

Constable Croxton is posted to Counties Manukau District and Constable Woodhead to Wellington District.

Another new constable to take skills from previous work into a Police career is Constable Noah Davies, who is posted to Counties Manukau District. Noah has worked for a city council as a Community Safety Officer and volunteered with Victim Support helping victims of family harm and other crime. Noah says he supported a large number of victims in the aftermath of the mosque shootings in Christchurch, which was challenging but very rewarding.

“My role for Victim Support developed my skills in working with people from all walks of life and using empathy and compassion to support victims into their new normal. It also exposed me to the harm offending has on our victims, offenders and the wider community, and that’s one of the many reasons why I’ve decided to dedicate my career to helping people.”

The wing is ethnically and culturally diverse, with 30 percent of the wing from ethnicities other than New Zealand European.

Constable Liam Hae Hae calls himself a “lolly scramble of cultures”, with his heritage including Māori, Rarotongan, Pakistani and Irish. Liam is currently learning te reo Māori to help him better connect to his Māori roots. In the past Liam has volunteered in a youth prison and through his work within tertiary education he has been able to help troubled youth succeed in the education system.

“Making a difference in people’s lives is why I wanted to join the Police. The opportunity to have an impact, especially on an inter-personal level, is the reason why I’ll be putting on the blue uniform every day.”

Liam has been awarded the Commissioner’s Award for Leadership and will be working in the Wellington District.

Constable Insia Abdullali came to New Zealand from Afghanistan as a seven-year-old, and her memories of how friendly and helpful New Zealand Police were at that time have made her want to become a police officer.

She says her family are right behind her on this new journey. “My whole family have supported me throughout this process, and even though there are no other Afghani female police officers in New Zealand Police, they are happy that I am able to follow my dream.”

Constable Abdullali is posted to Auckland District.

At the graduation ceremony Constable Renine Stansloski will received the top award. Renine has recently moved back to New Zealand from the United States, where she went as a teenager on a track & field and cross country university scholarship. While there she gained qualifications in psychology and social work and worked in mental health until starting her family.

With her family now living in the Bay of Plenty, Renine is looking forward to working there, using her passion for helping people and her social work skills in her new job.

Awards

Minister’s Award recognising top student – Constable Renine Stansloski, Bay of Plenty District

Patron’s Award, recognising second top student – Constable Kate van Dillen, Wellington District

Commissioner’s Award for Leadership – Constable Liam Hae Hae, Wellington District

Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award – Constable Zoe Fleming, Waitematā District

Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award – Constable James Crean, Bay of Plenty District

Firearms Award – Constable Luke Taylor, Wellington District

Deployment information

The new constables will have a one-week break before starting duties in their districts.

The wing is being dispersed as follows:

Northland – 2
Waitematā – 9
Auckland – 6
Counties Manukau – 13
Waikato – 3
Bay of Plenty – 5
Eastern – 2
Central – 3
Wellington – 6
Tasman – 1
Canterbury – 6
Southern – 3

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