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For the first time in 44 years, a graduation ceremony took place in Auckland for police recruits trained in the City of Sails.

For years, recruits from across New Zealand have been shipped to the Wellington region for training. They followed the 16-week residential course at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua.

The 20 graduates today split driving skills, firearms and defensive and tactical classes between Unitec and the North Shore police center instead. They could train home every day, live in their own homes.

Inspector Iain Saunders said in April, when the pilot program was announced, that this was the result of direct feedback from potential recruits – many who said that moving to Wellington for four months was a real barrier to entry to the New Zealand police, especially those with young children.

"We would like to know if this initiative can help us increase our numbers by reducing a number of barriers that would prevent those who would become excellent policemen from joining them," he said.

For the first time wanna-be-policemen can learn the trade in Wellington, instead of training in Porirua.
Source: breakfast

Minister Stuart Nash of the police praised the program today as a "generational change" in the recruitment of the police, which was the top of the coalition government since the promise in October to add 1,800 new officers for three years.

Counting the graduation today. 688 new front officers were deployed, Mr Nash said.

Mr Nash remembered the last time that recruits had been trained in Auckland – a time when color television and a law requiring equal pay for women in the private sector had just been introduced.

"The recruits of the police in the early 1970s were trained in a former teacher college in Ardmore in South Auckland," he said in a statement.

"The Auckland wing was a response to requests from Mayor Sir Dove Myer Robinson, who was concerned about the increasing crime rate, which is largely gang-related, in our biggest city."

Seventy-eight new officers for our largest city are sworn in today.
Source: 1 NEWS

But the class today was a far cry from 40 years ago, he added.

"The changing demographics of Auckland compared to 1974 is also evident in the diversity of new agents," he explained.

"Thirty percent identify as Asian New Zealanders, seven of whom are born overseas and speak languages, including Italian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese."

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