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New constables aim to climb high

New constables aim to climb high – Police graduation on Thursday

Seventy-nine new constables will graduate from The Royal New Zealand Police College in Wing 285 on Thursday. Their wing patron is the Mayor of Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt.

Climbing to new heights
As the youngest rope rescue instructor in the world, Constable Todd Balogh is used to taking on challenges to help those in need. As a volunteer for the SPCA Animal Rescue Unit, Constable Balogh gained his Technical Rope Rescue Instructor rating from the largest rescue training organisation in the world.

During his six years of volunteer work, he has rescued animals in need from many difficult situations, such as from cliff faces and between buildings. One rescue involved rappelling down a 70 metre bank, completing a water rescue and then using 4WDs to save three bobby calves in the Otaki Gorge.

Constable Balogh joins the police family with a lot of background in the emergency services. He has used his rope rescue skills to help train the Abu Dhabi Police Force, has a degree in paramedics, post-graduate diploma in emergency services, and his father was a driver trainer at The Royal New Zealand Police College.

“I joined the police to be a visible presence in our communities and a role model for young people to look up to,” says Constable Balogh. “I also want to bring my unique skill set to grow the skills of our organisation and to help more of those in need.”

Starting the climb on a new ladder
Constable Ann Tapara, Leadership Award winner for Wing 285, has climbed a lot of ladders, but knows she is now climbing the right one for her. Constable Tapara has a diploma in business, a degree and post-graduate diploma in psychology, and is a proud mother of three, but has chosen a career as a police constable.

“It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than half way up one you don’t,” says Constable Tapara. “I plan to use my previous studies and experience to help me work with those in need, especially the vulnerable parts of our communities.”

Brothers in arms
Recruits of Wing 285 have a strong connection with our emergency and military service partners. One of these, Constable Sam Sweetman, has first-hand knowledge of some of these services.

Constable Sweetman has served with the New Zealand Army on deployment in Afghanistan and comes from a family with connections to the Fire Service. His grandfather and father have both worked in the service, but taking it to the next level is Sam’s twin brother, a fireman up in Auckland. Constable Sweetman’s father is also a Police Prosecutor in Auckland City.

“Our family has a history of community service dating back to my great grandfather in WWI,” says Constable Sweetman. “Being a police constable is something I've always wanted to do but I felt it was important to get some life experience first. I'm now looking forward to starting a long career with the New Zealand Police.”

Wing 285 members have been posted to stations throughout New Zealand.

Wing 285 award winners:

Minister’s Award for First in Wing was awarded to Constable Mark Burrett, posted to Canterbury. Constable Burrett was also awarded the Academic Award (for academic achievement).

Commissioner’s Award for Second in Wing was awarded to Constable Ann Tapara, posted to Waikato. Constable Tapara was also awarded the Leadership Award (in recognition of outstanding potential to lead self and others). This award is supported by the Porirua City Council.

Patron’s Award for Third in Wing was awarded to Constable Elyse Fraser, posted to Canterbury. Constable Fraser was also awarded the Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award (for physical training and defensive tactics skills).

The Prevention Award (for frontline skills and prevention practices) was awarded to Constable Caleb Purdie, posted to Canterbury. This award is supported by the Crimestoppers Trust.

The Response Award (for tactical skills and safe practices) was awarded to Constable Emily Jurd, posted to Counties-Manukau.

The Mobility and Technology Award (for information technology use and file preparation) was awarded to Constable Monica Cooper, posted to Auckland.

The Firearms Training Award (for firearms skills and safe practices) was awarded to Constable Alexander Thomson, posted to Tasman.

The Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award (for driving skills and safe road policing practices) was awarded to Constable Simione Volavola, posted to Counties-Manukau.

Police Association Awards for Section Achievement:
These are awarded to an individual from each section who, in the collective view of the members of the section and the wing instructors, made the greatest contribution to the overall success of the team.

Section One Constable Seepa Ah-Lam, posted to Counties-Manukau.
Section Two Constable Mark Harrison, posted to Waikato.
Section Three Constable Karl Nuku, posted to Canterbury.
Section Four Constable Stephen Tudehope, posted to Canterbury.

Graduation will take place at The Royal New Zealand Police College on Thursday 7 August at 2:00pm. The ceremony will be attended by the Minister of Police the Hon Anne Tolley, Police Commissioner Mike Bush, and Patron Tim Shadbolt.


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