THE Hills Local Area Command has welcomed two new probationary officers.
Michelle Carlon and Rebecca Nethercote arrived at Castle Hill police station on August 26, fresh from the attestation parade at the NSW Police Academy in Goulbourn.
They were among 161 new recruits sworn into Class 319, including 50 policewomen.
‘‘There was no other plan for me,’’ Ms Carlon said.
The 23-year-old was one of 15 NSW recruits to join through the University of Western Sydney pathway and one of 72 aged 21-25 in the graduating group.
Ms Nethercote, 33, was one of 15 recruits aged 31-35 to graduate.
She said she left primary school teaching with a heavy heart — ‘‘the kids were beautiful’’ — to pursue policing, having always harboured a desire to try both.
They will do 12 months on-the-job training and study by distance education with Charles Sturt University before graduating with an associate degree in policing practice.
The new probationary officers will then be confirmed to the rank of constable.
Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher said the government had committed to increasing the police force by 859 police officers, with the authorised strength reaching 16,665 in August 2015.
‘‘We will also deliver a further 179 positions for the public transport command, 30 positions for the traffic and highway patrol command, and 230 general duties positions right across NSW,’’ Mr Gallacher said.