High school students from across the Shoalhaven interested in a career with the NSW Police Force have broken new ground, being given a first hand opportunity to see what it is like.
Officers attached to the Shoalhaven Crime Management Unit took a number of students from Nowra, Bomaderry, Shoalhaven and St John’s high on a visit to the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn.
It was the first time local students have been able to visit the academy.
The project known as “Potential Recruits”, initiated by Crime Management Unit co-ordinator Sergeant Kevin Henry and youth liaison officer Senior Constable Kyriana Van Den Belt was arranged to give students an opportunity to experience a day at the academy.
“We get a number of requests a year for students to perform work experience at the police station,” Sgt Henry said.
“There are a number of restrictions in allowing students to perform work experience, which results in the students only experiencing administrative roles.
“Rather than deter students requesting work experience we thought of the idea to take those students who are interested in a career in police to experience a day at the academy to see the facility, living arrangements and some training components in action.”
He said it was hoped the experience would keep students motivated during the final year or two of their study.
“The response from both students and parents has been extremely positive,” he said.
During the day the students experience the daily routine of the academy speaking to lecturers, weapons trainers and the driver training school.
The Shoalhaven command’s Youth Liaison Officer, Snr Const Van Den Belt and one of Shoalhaven’s latest recruits, Constable Jo De Barros escorted the group on their visit.
“The students from year 11 who apply for the program go through an application process,” Snr Const Van Den Belt said.
“The visit is only intended for those students genuinely interested in policing as a possible career.”
She said the students appeared to enjoy the day, with another visit planned for later in the year.
Constable De Barros was able to give a good insight into the current running of the academy and her recent experiences.
“We were met with an exceptional response by the academy staff that went out of their way to make the day worthwhile,” she said.
“We identified further opportunities to make the day even more beneficial.”
Any students interested in the program should to speak to their school careers advisor for details.