Olympian joins police force

Top guns set their sights on crime-fighting

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2013
Rob Eastham cops
KEVIN STENT/ Fairfax NZ

COMRADES IN CRIME-FIGHTING: Police college graduates Reiner Bauerfeind and former Olympian Rob Eastham.

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Two newly minted police officers with a shared talent for sharpshooting consider themselves more brothers in arms than rivals as they train their sights on the capital beat.

Constables Reiner Bauerfeind and Rob Eastham, both 24, have begun their careers in tandem and share a particular talent.

Mr Bauerfeind, originally from Napier, took out the overall award in all firearms assessments at the Royal New Zealand Police College graduation ceremony in Porirua yesterday.

No mean feat considering his fellow graduate and friend competed in small-bore rifle shooting for New Zealand at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Mr Eastham, who is joining the Kapiti force, was the best of four Kiwis who competed at the Games, and the youngest, at just 19. He went on to study earth science at Massey University in Palmerston North before setting his sights on a policing career, saying he was more interested in helping the community than pursuing professional shooting.

"I was talking to my old man back when I was living in Palmy, and he said he'd rather live a life of value than a life of success - and that thought stuck with me ever since."

Mr Bauerfeind will be joining the Upper Hutt police, and he said topping his firearms training class was a surprise.

"I wasn't really worrying about competition. I was more trying to get my training done and get up to the standard that we need to be."

The pair both aspire to join the armed offenders squad.

Royal New Zealand Police College Superintendent John Price said the force was looking to recruit more women and cadets from a range of ethnic backgrounds.

Yesterday's graduation marked the first time an Ethiopian-born recruit had joined.

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- The Dominion Post

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