Young cops home to serve

New recruits prepare to join the action in the Western Bay of Plenty. From left are: Jakiah Rishton, Shyniese Delamare, Nathaniele Ellingham, Elijah Welch and Kate Cleave.

She hasn’t seen it all, but she has seen a lot of it.

Kate Cleave, Constable Kate Cleave, fresh out of police college and just two days on the cold, mean streets maintaining law and order. “Previously I worked at Waikato Hospital and in bars, in hospitality, so I have seen a lot of life.” And not all of it nice.

“I wanted to do the whole prevention side of things – situations where I know I can prevent people ending up hospital.” The newbie cop will get her wish early. She’s riding with the Tauranga Police impairment prevention team. Speaks for itself.

Kate is one of five new police recruits assigned to Western Bay of Plenty.

“Fantastic to see, we have been very fortunate with the caliber of recruits,” says Clifford Paxton. The police area commander has been sitting in with the recruits imparting the wisdom of a seasoned policeman.

“One of the things I talked to them about was valuing the individual differences they bring to the role.

“They all come from different backgrounds with various knowledge, skills and experience and through that we are able to provide a more diverse and tailored response to the many sectors of the community we serve.”

Jakiah Rishton was born and raised in Papamoa. At 19, after 16 weeks of intensive training at police college in Porirua, he will return to those streets in a police cruiser, wearing the distinctive blue uniform and anti-stab and bullet proof vest. He once played in these streets and now he returns to maintain law and order and keep those streets safe.

He understands it’s not all beer and skittles out there. “I understand things can go wrong and it can be quite scary, but it doesn’t play on my mind too much.” His training, judgment and commonsense should serve him well.

“I have got the uniform, done the training, now I just want to get out there.”

Shyniese Delamare is a 24-year-old, self-confessed adrenalin junkie. She worked the Taupo bungy jump – a 47 metre freefall at 70km/h. But since leaving school, she only ever really wanted to be a cop.

“I just love helping people and love the idea of a job that will be different every day.”

Her partner is a policeman – met him while becoming a police officer herself. “He’s very supportive and understanding, so it’s great to have him to lean on.”

But the streets can be mean and nasty for a cop. “I try not to think in depth about the sort of jobs I will be doing. Obviously the Christchurch mosque attack had a big impact on peoples’ minds. I have a positive mindset about it. And I try not to think about things that could go wrong.”

“They will be closely monitored, absolutely,” says Inspector Paxton. “They will have supervisors and other staff working with them.”

As trainees these recruits, plus colleagues Elijah Welch and Nathaniele Ellingham, earned $1442 a fortnight. When they walked out of the Tauranga Central Police Station on Wednesday, their first official day of duty, they started on about $55,000 a year.      

All community minded with a positive attitude, physically fit and savvy, these young officers have returned home to serve their city and its people. “Very happy to have them aboard,” says the inspector.

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