Recruits ready for beat

PENRITH'S five latest police officers reflect a range of ages and professional backgrounds.

They started their new jobs on Monday.

The eldest, Mark Fitzgibbins, is 46 and has fulfilled a 38-year-old dream.

"I was eight when I saw a police officer come and talk to our school.

"I decided then I wanted to look after the community.

"I was 16 when I left school and I wanted to join the police but they raised the entry qualifications."

He said subsequent family commitments prevented him revisiting his earlier ambition but when the opportunity finally came he took it.

The youngest recruit, Justin Dover, 22, joined the police for similar reasons.

"I wanted to do my bit for the community," he said.

"This is something I've wanted to do for a while, especially since I left school."

Shannon Graham, 39, had worked as a carpenter and joiner for 23 years.

"I wanted a career change and security for my family," he said. "The industry I was in was not very secure.

"I also like the camaraderie of the police force and being able to do something to help."

Matthew Plisowsky, 31, said he always enjoyed helping people.

"Even in my previous job, as an electrician for a car manufacturer, I was in customer service and liked helping people," he said.

"That's still my main goal."

Thirty-five-year-old Anthony D'Agostino said he wanted a challenging job and decided that the police force was the place to find one.

"I wanted more job satisfaction and this is where I believe I'll get it," he said.

Penrith state MP Stuart Ayres visited the station to welcome the recruits on their first day.

"Penrith is a good place to start because you've got a quality group of officers here," Mr Ayres said.

"As a government we are committed to looking after our police and we want to see more officers on the ground.

"You guys are a reflection of that."

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