Six new probationary constables join shire police ranks as job appears to grow more risky

Eleni Petinos with new probationary constables at Sutherland police station. Probationary Constable Walsh is on the top step at left. Picture: supplied
Eleni Petinos with new probationary constables at Sutherland police station. Probationary Constable Walsh is on the top step at left. Picture: supplied

Six new probationary constables have joined police ranks in Sutherland Shire at a time when the job appears to be riskier than ever.

An upsurge in incidents of violence and abuse towards police across NSW in recent weeks has reinforced the dangers officers face on the street.

Acting commander of Sutherland Police Area Command Steve Patton said the new officers were undaunted.

"They are well trained at the academy and they come out well prepared for any situation that might eventuate," Acting Superintendent Patton said.

"Unfortunately, with the nature of the work we do, police will always be a target with a certain element of the community but we are well equipped to deal with it.

"It is important to remember 99.9 per cent of the community are on our side."

Miranda MP Eleni Petinos, who welcomed the new officers, said, "We owe each of them the greatest amount of respect and gratitude for their commitment to putting our community's safety ahead of their own".

One of the new officers, Probationary Constable Allan Walsh, is used to dangerous work.

He served in the infantry and as a reservist in the Australian Defence Force, spending six months in Iraq protecting Australian soldiers who were conducting training.

Probationary Constable Walsh said there were a lot of similarities between the services.

"Your discipline transfers across and they have a similar rank structure and uniforms in which you take pride," he said.

He enjoyed training at the Goulburn police academy and made some strong friends.

"You have a common purpose in being there and most of the guys are of a similar mentality so you form bonds very quickly," he said.

Probationary Constable Walsh said he had an open mind about a career path in the police.

"My focus is on general duties and getting the basics down pat," he said.

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