Wee Waa’s Kimberly Yee and Narrabri’s Teresita Cole are excited to have joined the Oxley Police District after graduating from their cadet training late last month.

Joining the Narrabri and Gunnedah stations, respectively, the women were excited to start their new roles just last week.

District Commander for the Oxley Police District, Superintendent Kylie Endemi, says the local teams are pleased to have the new officers join the team.

She says not every station is guaranteed a new cadet, so this is a big win for the area.

“We’ve had years where, for example, Tamworth has received double digits in new officers. But this time, the Tamworth station didn’t see any additions from Kimberly and Teresita’s class,” she said.

“It all depends on operational need, and where vacant positions have to be filled.

“In this case, Gunnedah and Narrabri were allocated one graduate each.”

Constables Yee and Cole say they’re glad to be back in familiar territory, working alongside experienced local policemen and women.

“This is their first of six weeks on-the-job induction training.

“They’ll work alongside a field training officer and their partner for a month and a half and, if we deem them ready, they’ll go out on jobs with a single partner of their own,” Supt Endemi said.

“We believe this approach offers an intensive, but well-supported, induction to the force.”

Cons Yee and Cons Cole agreed that “intensive” is the best description, and say they’re pleased that all of their hard efforts have paid off, allowing them to return to their local communities for work.

“There’s a lot of information to take in during training, so it was certainly a steep learning curve,” Cons Cole said.

Cons Yee agreed, adding that the ongoing pandemic put a strain on the cadets’ learning environment.

“Due to COVID-19, a lot of our theory components were done via correspondence, which is a very different learning method for most people,” she said.

However, their program featured some elements that could not be taught online.

For these physical components, Cons Yee and Cons Cole undertook eight weeks intensive training in Goulburn.

This was the final stage of their learning before graduation and being assigned a station.

“The NSW Police was one of the only educational institutions that didn’t shut down at all over the course of 2020.

“However, for safety reasons, this meant the entire training facility was treated like its own lockdown bubble,” Supt Endemi said.

Cons Yee and Cons Cole said the lockdown conditions added to the pressure, as they didn’t have the option to visit their families on weekends. Cons Yee has two of her own children, a two-year-old and a six-year-old, and Cons Cole a nine-year-old.

While COVID-19 added pressure during the training stages, the women are proud to have completed the requirements and graduated successfully.

Being assigned their top station preferences, Narrabri and Gunnedah, made the challenges well worth it.

Supt Endemi, a mother herself, says she’s proud to see more women joining the force.

“Kimberly and Teresita are proof that we can do it all – women no longer have to choose between having a family and pursuing a career. And it’s especially impressive to see more and more women joining the police, a traditionally male-dominated occupation,” she said.

In 2015, NSW Police celebrated just 50 years since women were officially granted the Commander rank and given the full powers of a police officer.

Cons Yee and Cons Cole said almost a quarter of their graduating class was made up of female cadets.

“We even had more new staff, many of which were female, leading our training in Goulburn,” Cons Yee said.

“We’re slowly but surely beginning to achieve equality in this occupation,” Supt Endemi said.

“But I want to continue encouraging any local women, who are interested in working with the police force, to chase that goal.

“Teresita used to work in hospitality, but that didn’t stop her from making the switch to a career she was passionate about.”

To order photos from this page click here