COLAC’S leading policeman says a new generation of police officers are boosting morale at the city’s police station.
Senior Sergeant Ken Slingsby said a new training program that placed Victoria Police Academy students in stations across Victoria was successful.
“It used to be that you’d stay in the academy and then go out to stations at the end of your training, but now there’s a dedicated training workplace program which means we get people coming out for a few weeks throughout their training,” Sen Sgt Slingsby said.
“It’s worked out great so far because it means we’re bringing in young and keen people who can learn from our members, and our members enjoy being able to pass on their knowledge,” he said.
Colac’s Josh Goonan is among the first crop of police trainees to visit Colac Police Station while studying at the academy.
He joined the academy last year after working at Colac’s post office.
“At the moment I’m in week 26 of 33 at the academy, so I’m getting closer to finishing,” Mr Goonan said.
“It’s something I’d thought about doing for a while and my brother-in-law is a policeman and he encouraged me to do it,” he said.
Mr Goonan said studying for exams at the academy had been his biggest challenge.
“The physical side of it is pretty fine, it’s the studying part that took me ages to get used to,” he said.
“There are a lot of exams, I had to basically study for three hours a night, which was really foreign to me.
“I was battling with the pressure there for a while, so if it hadn’t been for the support I got from my wife and my family I might’ve given up.”
Mr Goonan said his work placements at Colac’s police station had given him a greater insight into his future career.
“It’s definitely worth it for us because we get to see how each part of the station works,” Mr Goonan said.
“So the first week I was in the watch house and then I went out in the cars patrolling and now I’m doing a few day with highway patrol,” he said.
“I’d love to get back to Colac when I finish at the academy but there’s already a waiting list, so hopefully I can end up somewhere in the country – I’ll just have to wait and see where they send me.”