Police recruits visit Tweed
THE Tweed's 20 first-year constables were at the office yesterday for an orientation day.
For many of the recruits it was the first time visiting the Tweed Heads station but most wanted a post at Tweed-Byron Local Area Command.
The 20 recruits take total police numbers in the command to 172 officers.
Command Superintendent Stuart Wilkins said this was a significant boost for an area that was running at about 80% operational strength.
"We have certainly been reduced in our capacity because of sick leave," Supt Wilkins said.
"It's the first time we have had so many come into the local area command."
Supt Wilkins said the area was in high demand from recruits.
"When I asked who choose to come here most of them put up their hands," he said.
Probation Constable Danielle Nealon, from Wollongong, spent eight months trialling at the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn before being posted in the Tweed.
"I was looking to start a career in something I could be proud of and help the community," Ms Nealon said.
"I did choose the Tweed because I wanted to be near the water still.
"All I bought with me was my clothes and surfboard."
Supt Wilkins said lifestyle on the Tweed was a big draw for the recruits.
It is a lifestyle probationary constable Kieren Mates knows all too well having moved to Pottsville from Sydney four years ago.
He is only one of two home-grown recruits who left the Tweed for training at the police academy and at 42 he is the oldest of the recruits.
"They call me pops so that quite difficult at times," Mr Mates quipped.
"I think I bring a lot of life skills. I was a plumber before joining the force."
The recruits will spend the next four weeks familiarising themselves with the area.
Supt Wilkins said he wanted to see police in uniform getting back on the beat and getting noticed around the Tweed.