Police recruits on road to careers

By Melissa Wishart

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Wanganui's three new recruits are excited for their future in the police force. They are Anna Reti (left), Karl Pascoe, and Jemara Mackie. Photo/Stuart Munro
Wanganui's three new recruits are excited for their future in the police force. They are Anna Reti (left), Karl Pascoe, and Jemara Mackie. Photo/Stuart Munro

Wanganui's newest police recruits aren't sure yet where they want to go in the force - but they're enjoying the ride.

None more so, perhaps, than 22-year-old Karl Pascoe, who said one of the best parts was "driving fast".

The three new recruits started three weeks ago and have been working in traffic and general duties.

They are Mr Pascoe, 29-year-old Jemara Mackie, and 32-year-old Anna Reti, who is Ngati Kahungunu.

"You're busy all the time," said Ms Reti, who said her favourite part of the job was solving what was happening and trying to get the best outcome.

Mr Pascoe said "trying to get the best result for the victim" was rewarding work.

Both Mr Pascoe and Ms Mackie wanted to join the force since they were young, but Ms Reti had children first and worked as an accounting technician.

"Every girl wants to be a hairdresser," she said.

"I had kids and my partner was a prison officer. I enjoy helping people and making sure they're looked after - what better way to do it?"

Ms Reti was passionate about preventing offending. "I know that I can't save the world," she said, adding she wanted to work with youths.

"Sometimes I think 'oh, they just need a big hug, they haven't been hugged before'."

Ms Mackie, who previously worked as a dental assistant, said confrontation was challenging for her.

"Some people think that you're just picking on them and can get quite upset. We've got a job to do and it's about trying to keep people safe, we're not trying to be mean."

"Go and catch the real criminals" was a phrase the recruits had already heard.

Ms Reti found the hardest part was seeing innocent children who were used to situations police attended.

"They don't know what's happening but all they know is that it's normal," she said.

For Mr Pascoe, who used to work in the meatworks, it was difficult seeing the "different ways some people live".

While none were sure what they wanted to specialise in, Ms Mackie was interested in joining the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS), but expected the first two years to be tough.

"It's just such a hung range of things, it takes time to learn it all," she said.

Mr Pascoe was worried about messing up on paperwork. "If I stuff this bit of paperwork up they could get off," he said.

All the recruits are locals, though Mr Pascoe was born in Stratford and moved to Wanganui before he was 5. Ms Reti was born in Wairoa and has spent the last 14 years in Wanganui.

Ms Mackie said Wanganui seemed like a "good place to start".

"I'm looking forward to a good, long career," she said.

Senior Sergeant Andrew McDonald said it was always nice to have "enthusiastic new staff".

"We've been pretty lucky with the calibre of staff we've been getting," he said.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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