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Hunter welcomes new police recruits to the beat

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The ranks will swell at the Newcastle City, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens-Hunter police districts from next week, with 15 new recruits hitting the beat.

However, neighbouring Hunter Valley PD missed the cut, with no probationary constables to be stationed there, despite 218 rookies being sworn in at the latest attestation ceremony at Goulburn on Friday 3 December.

The Northern Region command picked up 34 officers, with eight headed to Newcastle City, four joining Lake Macquarie and three venturing to Port Stephens-Hunter.

Other spots were filled at Brisbane Water PD (five), Coffs/Clarence PD (five), Tuggerah Lakes PD (three), Mid North Coast PD (two), Richmond PD (two) and Tweed/Byron PD (two).

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin hailed the appointment of the 15 newcomers to the region.

“Some of the NSW Police Force’s newest probationary constables have elected to come back to serve this community while others have chosen to start their careers in the district,” he stated.

“On behalf of our community, I am pleased to be able to welcome them.”

The students of Class 350 took their oath of office before retiring NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, Governor of NSW, Her Excellency, The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and senior NSW Police officers.

The recruits will start duties from next Monday 6 December, which will see them undertake a year of on-the-job training and complete the Associate Degree in Policing Practice by distance education with Charles Sturt University before being confirmed to the rank of constable.

As the new officers start their careers, Commissioner Fuller, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys and former Detective Senior Constable Andrea Rodriguez were also honoured during the ceremony ahead of their retirement from distinguished service.

Mr Elliott congratulated the rookies on dedicating their lives to keep the people of NSW safe.

“As police officers, you play a crucial role in our communities – often seeing the best and worst of people,” he said.

“But, you’re always upholding the law and serving and protecting the people of this state.

“I wish you well as you step up to your new role as probationary constable and thank you for choosing a career in policing.

“The NSW Government is behind you.”

Commissioner Fuller said the recruits were joining at a unique time in the state’s history.

“2021 has been another challenging year for NSW, with police taking on an unprecedented role in protecting the community from COVID-19,” he explained.

“With our role in pandemic response winding down as the state progresses along the road to recovery, I want to encourage our newest recruits to remember what’s at the heart of everything we do as police officers – community safety.”

Education and Training Commander Assistant Commissioner Dean Smith said the Class of 350 had been presented with unique challenges throughout their training, due to COVID-19, but had shown resilience to reach this proud moment.

“The students were first required to study at home for a lengthy period and, once on site, were placed in lockdown at the academy – unable to take weekend leave to see their families until two weeks ago,” he stated.

“I congratulate them for the strength and dedication they have shown – it sets them up well for long and distinguished careers.”

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