Police attestations are always an exciting time for those involved, but the latest one was more special than most.
That was because it marked the retirement of NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, Deputy Commissioner and Goulburn man Gary Worboys and former Detective Senior Constable Andrea Rodriguez.
The NSW Police Force Airwing conducted a flyover of the parade ground to commemorate the march off of Commissioner Fuller after 34 years of distinguished service.
"My journey has been extraordinary..." Mr Fuller said.
"I've loved it and every day was like being taken on an adventure."
He told the crowd he was indebted to the Force for the opportunities it had afforded him and urged attesting students to embrace how amazing the job was and the support it gave.
Premier Dominic Perrottet described Mr Fuller as "a force of nature" whose leadership had been "second to none" during challenging times such as the COVID pandemic.
"Thank you for your service," he said.
The Commissioner also earned high praise from NSW Governor Margaret Beazley AC QC.
"You once said that this job required enormous energy," she said.
"You've required every ounce of it in the last five years and it's been a Herculean effort."
At his final attestation ceremony at the NSW Police Academy on Friday, December 3, Commissioner Fuller swore in 218 new probationary constables.
The students of Class 350 took their oath of office before him and other official guests including police and emergency services minister David Elliott, Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman, Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk, and senior NSW police officers. Incoming Commissioner Karen Webb, originally from Boorowa, also attended.
Class 350 will commence duties on Monday, December 6, which will see them undertake a year of on-the-job training and complete the Associate Degree in Policing Practice by distance education with Charles Sturt University before being confirmed to the rank of constable.
Mr Elliott congratulated the new recruits on the beginning of a career dedicated to keeping the people of NSW safe.
"As police officers, you play a crucial role in our communities - often seeing the best and worst of people, but always upholding the law, and serving and protecting the people of this state," Mr Elliott said.
Mr Fuller welcomed those attesting to the NSW Police Force and said the 218 recruits were joining at a unique time in the state's history.
"2021 has been another challenging year for NSW, with police taking on an unprecedented role in protecting the community from COVID-19," he said.
"With our role in the pandemic response winding down as the state progresses along the road to recovery, I want to encourage our newest recruits to remember what's at the heart of everything we do as police officers - community safety.
"Thank you for choosing to be part of our mission to keep the people of this state safe. It is an honour to swear you in on my last attestation as commissioner."
Education and training commander, Assistant Commissioner Dean Smith, said the Class of 350 had been presented with unique challenges throughout their training due to COVID-19, but had shown resilience to reach this proud moment today.
"The 218 students were first required to study at home for a lengthy period, and once on site, were placed in lockdown at the academy - unable to take weekend leave to see their families until two weeks ago," he said.
"I congratulate them for the strength and dedication they have shown - it sets them up well for long and distinguished careers."
Class 350 comprised 163 men and 55 women while seven were indigenous.
Those born in Australia total 192, while 26 were born overseas. Their countries of origin included Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Colombia, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Nepal, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Languages in addition to English spoken by students in Class 350 included Arabic, Assyrian, Cantonese, Croatian, Dari, Filipino, Korean, Nepali, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
The youngest recruits were 19-years-old, while the oldest recruit was forty-six.
The Hume Police Command was assigned one probationary constable.
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