New police recruits on the Mountains beat

They are the two newest faces of Blue Mountains Local Area Command.

Jason Russell, 26 (front), and Michael Walton, 38, on their first day on the job at Springwood Police Station on Monday.

Jason Russell, 26 (front), and Michael Walton, 38, on their first day on the job at Springwood Police Station on Monday.

Class 321 was sworn in last week and on Monday, probationary constables Jason Russell, 26, and Michael Walton, 38, one of 182 new recruits state-wide, started their first day on the beat.

Constable Russell has had experience as a retained firefighter and Constable Walton was a professional truck driver, but both were eager to start their “final career” and “more excited than nervous”. Both expressed an interest in police rescue work.

Their first day was spent checking out some of the Mountains ‘hot spots’ including Hazelbrook and Katoomba shopping districts, the Great Western Highway and the pubs and clubs, Sergeant Kylie Pettit said.

“They know it’s not going to be Sleepy Hollow,” she said.

Constable Russell, who will be based in Katoomba, said his police academy training had taught him “you need to be able to go from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye”.

The probationary constables will do 12 months’ on-the-job training, along with additional study at Charles Sturt University. They will then officially graduate with their Associate Degree in Policing Practice and be confirmed in the rank of constable — gaining their “first stripe”.

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