Milestone Police graduation – 1,800 new cops
When the 59 new constables of Wing 332 graduate on Thursday, one of them will be the 1,800th new constable to head to the frontline since October 2017.
Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Winston Peters will join the new constables at the graduation ceremony to celebrate this milestone, along with Police Minister the Hon 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 out 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 their skills from previous work into their 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 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 currently 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.
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
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