Friday, April 19, 2024

First international recruits join WA Police

Thirty frontline officers – made up of 27 overseas recruits, two interstate officers, and one re-engaging WA Police employee – have begun an intensive 13-week transitional training course at the Joondalup Police Academy. 

Police Commissioner Col Blanch welcomed the state’s newest recruits from the UK, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand.

“We live in an incredible place where we are privileged to protect an amazing community,” the Commissioner said.

“Our agency is made up of people from all backgrounds, nations and walks off life.

“Our strength is that we all work together to uphold our policing values and concentrate on delivering our policing fundamentals – and you’ll meet some great people and make some great mates doing it.”

All of the recruits join with a minimum three years on the job experience, and vary in age from 26 to 51-years-old.

Among them is National Police Bravery Award recipient Sergeant Ben Woods. The 33-year-old was recognised for his heroic efforts in 2015, which saw him rescue a woman from a crumbling cliff in East Sussex.

Detective Constable Anna Miller, who is a 38-year-old, brings with her a decade of tailored experience from her time working in a specialist unit which investigated domestic violence, child protection and sexual related crimes.

Over 1,400 officers have applied to join the WA Police Force since the international campaign began in October last year.

More than 100 of those are in a selection pool waiting to commence transitional training, while approximately 600 others are at various stages of the application process.

“The response to the State Government’s international recruitment campaign has been extremely positive, meaning WA Police can handpick the best of the best as it unashamedly poaches talented officers from overseas,” said Police Minister, Paul Papalia.

“Western Australia is a great place to live and work. Compared to the UK and Republic of Ireland, we have higher wages, a lower cost of living, and the perfect climate for year-round adventure.

“The WA Police Force rightfully enjoys a reputation as being one of the top law enforcement agencies in the world, which is assisting with attracting applicants.

In July, the Cook Government announced Joondalup Police Academy doubled its capacity in preparation to train 1,000 officers in 12 months.

Under a Labour Agreement signed between the Federal and State Government, skilled police officers from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland can be granted entry under the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa, which enables their employment with the WA Police Force and places them on a pathway to citizenship.

The deal allows WA Police to recruit up to 750 experienced international officers over a five-year period.

“Twenty-three of the officers in this transitional course hail from the United Kingdom, three are from the Republic of Ireland and one joins us from across the ditch in New Zealand,” the Police Minister said.

“Western Australia’s Labour Agreement with the Federal Government provides these highly trained and sought-after officers with a fast-tracked pathway to Australian citizenship.

“On behalf of the community, I thank all of the new recruits for choosing to serve and protect here in WA,” he said.

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