Police training focus on ‘tactical communication’

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Meet Dunedin’s newest police college graduate.

Constable Nicholas Hall (26) was one of 79 new constables – 23 women and 56 men – to graduate from the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua on July 26.

He began police work in Dunedin on August 6.

The college training “drilled in” the importance of using “tactical communication” to “de-escalate a situation” rather than using force, he said.

“Police are investing in people who can talk to people.”

He joined the police to help people rather than “to give out tickets”.

After applying for training in early 2016, he was told in December last year his training would start in April.

“I was stoked.”

The news came about two months after Const Hall became a father for the first time, so leaving his wife and daughter to train was challenging, he said.

The shiftwork rotation would suit his new role as a father, he said.

“It will mean more time at home during my daughter’s awake time than having a 9-5 job.”

Before being accepted into college, he worked for the Inland Revenue Department in Dunedin in its tax office.

Working for the IRD and police had some similarities, he said. Both organisations were perceived in negative terms by some but his experience had not supported such a view.

One difference between the two jobs was that on the rare occasion IRD staff encountered a threatening client the police could be called, as the police were at the end of the line when it came to defusing difficult situations.

Const Hall’s long-term career aspiration is to be a detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB).

He is one of three new constables in his police college wing to be deployed in the Southern region. The other two constables have been deployed to Gore and Queenstown.