WHAT do South Tweed Sports chief executive officer Gordon Rhodes, State of Origin rugby league legend Paul Harragon and successful author Bryce Courtenay each have in common?
All three were invited to participate in the fifth NSW Police Community Awareness of Policing Program (CAPP), which was held in Sydney last weekend.
"It was a brilliant course," Mr Rhodes said.
"It made all of us appreciate what the police force does.
"Whereas most of us have time to make critical choices, the police many times don't - they rely on their intensive training and protocols in making their on-the-spot decisions."
Some famous Australians have already graduated from the CAPP program, including former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh, head of St Vincent's Hospital Emergency Services Dr Gordian Fulde and seven-times world surfing champion Layne Beachley. Mr Rhodes was one of 25 members of the latest CAPP group who had been "inducted".
The group completed three, 12-hour shifts, just like real police, so they could be exposed to a variety of policing activities and better understand the complexities and demands of policing.
CAPP is a first for law enforcement agencies in Australia. Developed by the NSW Police Force Customer Service Program, CAPP is providing community leaders with a unique and unprecedented insight into policing in NSW.
Mr Rhodes was nominated by Tweed Byron Local Area Command Superintendent Greg Jago.
During the three-day program participants learn about marine search and rescue, crime fighting technology, road safety strategies, tactical options and firearms training, the public order and riot squad, as well as an array of scenarios that form part of the policing experience from the streets to the court room.
Tweed Byron Local Area Command Inspector Darren Steel said Mr Rhodes was identified as a recognised community leader who agreed to look at the role of policing with fresh eyes.
"I was sure he would find the program intriguing and perhaps confronting at times, but it will improve his understanding of why police do the things they do and the training police receive to carry out their jobs." Insp Steel said.