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Number of new cops makes history - recruit graduation tomorrow

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Seventy-eight new cops are graduating on Thursday at the Royal New Zealand Police College and they are helping to make history.

With the graduation of Recruit Wing 326 Police will see a total of 831 new cops working on the frontline this financial year (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019) - the most in any financial year in Police’s history.

The current government has made increasing the number of constabulary staff a priority.

In the 2018/19 year to date our overall constabulary numbers have increased by five percent.

Meanwhile, our female constabulary numbers have increased by 11%, Māori by 9%, Pacific by 14% and Asian by 25%.

This literally changes the face of the Police workforce and is a significant contribution to matching the demographics of the population we serve.

Helping to increase the female constabulary numbers are Constables Susie Weeks (posted to Eastern District), Johanna Bartley and Megan Gardiner (both posted to Wellington District).

Constable Susie Weeks has raised three sons and watched two of them graduate as police officers, now she’s following in their footsteps.

Her husband and brother-in-law also work for Police.

"I wanted to join Police because I have always wanted to help our community to be a better place," she says.

Constable Johanna Bartley says she’s joining "the family business" as she heads to Wellington District where her brother Elliot, sister Victoria and brother-in-law Sam also work on the frontline.

Johanna is fulfilling a life-long dream that was put on hold while she raised her children and pursued a career in IT and education.

"I increasingly realised that policing was what I ultimately wanted to do, and I’ve especially been inspired by my family members’ passion for policing.

I hope to emulate their successes and achieve some of my own."

Constable Megan Gardiner affiliates with Ngāti Toa, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Arawa iwi, and is fully fluent in te reo Māori.

She is also of Samoan descent and has been learning the Samoan language.

She knows the realities of policing, having worked first in a Police Communications Centre and then as an Authorised Officer.

She was deployed to Christchurch in the aftermath of the terror attacks, using her prior policing knowledge to help the Family Liaison Officer teams with administration and database tasks.

Megan says she’s joined Police to make a difference, and has wanted this since she was 16 years old.

"I’m here to learn how I can provide a safe and protective service for my community and my country.

I’ve been influenced by a lot of amazing officers, who have shown me the great job that they do."

First in wing - the top student - is Constable Aaron Harris, posted to Eastern District.

Aaron spent eight years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

His final role there was as a youth development instructor working with at-risk youth on the Limited Service Volunteer course.

Aaron says he had to work hard throughout his police training.

"The volume of information you have to quickly learn and process was challenging, but being a constable has always been a dream of mine and I’m keen to put what I’ve learnt at Police College into practice."

Deputy Commissioner John Tims, other members of the Police Executive, Police Minister Hon Stuart Nash and wing patron Russell Stanners will also be present at the ceremony on Thursday 6 June.

Russell is a leader in telecommunications and digital technology, and until recently was Vodafone NZ’s Chief Executive Officer.

Russell was actively involved in the transformation and roll-out of mobility at New Zealand Police and has been active in the community through the Vodafone Foundation, helping young people be the best they can be.


Minister’s Award recognising top student - Constable Aaron Harris, Eastern District

Patron’s Award, recognising second top student - Constable Florent Chargelegue, Canterbury District

Commissioner’s Award for Leadership - Constable Emma Bethell, Waikato District

Physical Training and Defensive Tactics Award - Constable Devon Payne, Central District

Driver Training and Road Policing Practice Award - Constable Benjamin Howes, Canterbury District

Firearms Award - Constable Michael Godwin, Eastern 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 - 6

Waitematā - 5

Auckland - 2

Counties Manukau - 8

Waikato - 6

Bay of Plenty - 8

Eastern - 6

Central - 13

Wellington - 7

Tasman - 0

Canterbury - 12

Southern - 5

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