From police college to city beat

New recruits . . . The newest police officers to work at Dunedin Central Police Station (from left) Constables Garth Sheehan, Jemma Dixon and Liam Pennycuick. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Tears flowed as an “awesome” police college experience came to an end, starting three “exciting” careers in Dunedin.

Seventy-eight new constables graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua on October 18.

Three of the graduates – Constables Jemma Dixon (20), Liam Pennycuick (26) and Garth Sheehan (35) – were deployed to Dunedin.

Const Dixon said the college experience was “awesome”.

The four months of training was over in the blink of an eye.

“There were tears.”

On the first night at college, she was thinking “what have I done?” But any concerns were unfounded because the support of police staff was “so good”.

Const Sheehan said he was sad to leave the college.

“When you spend four months with the same group of people you built relationships quite fast because you rely on them.”

Before attending the college, Const Sheehan worked in retail at outdoor shop Kathmandu in Dunedin for 10 years.

He waited to make a career change until the youngest of his four children had started school.

“I hope to do a bit of detective work and then get into child protection, so fingers crossed.”

Const Dixon said she was prepared to “stay on the frontline for quite a while” but liked the idea of working in the Criminal Investigation Branch.

She studied health at university and worked as a stock manager at Glassons before attending police college.

The first three weeks of police work in Dunedin had been varied and “not at a rushed pace”.

Const Pennycuick said he was keeping his career options open. During his first days of police work in Dunedin he was involved in a foot chase.

“He [the offender] took off along George St and ran down an alleyway and we caught him on Great King St. It was pretty exciting.”