Community Police want new recruits to bring 'authentic self'

By Heeni Brown

Community police are looking for diversity in the force. Policewoman Tusha Penny says, when it comes to future recruitment she doesn't want a "cookie cutter" type, but a person who is grounded in their cultural beliefs. 

Superintendent District Commander Tusha Penny says across Auckland there is a change in demographics with a need for more Māori, Pasifika in the police force.  

Tusha Penny says, "We've got to make sure we're a viable option, viable employment option for people in our community. And you know what, lets get real you know I've just got this sentiment that you can't be a good or great police officer unless fundamentally you are a good or great New Zealander. So I'm saying how do we get good and great New Zealanders from really diverse New Zealand background to come into work and put this uniform on?"

With an increase of funding for more workers in the force, Pou Whirinaki Ngawati Chapwell says Counties Manukau have been allocated 220 places.

Ngawati Chapwel says, "There's two parts to get in, the physical and the other one is the mental test. I will be honest one out of ten make it through the pipeline. So the standards are high but we need to maintain those standards, but it doesn't mean to say we won't support those that apply or are in the pipeline."

This week, the Government announced a whopping $2bil law and order package. Earlier this year, Minister of Police, Paula Bennett announced a Safer Communities Package worth $503.8mil to deliver more than 1,000 new police staff.

Penny says, "It's really about making sure people are supported, that they know the business and your know what it's really exciting."

An expected 1,125 new Police are set to roll out over the next four years.