Timaru's newest police officers have returned to patrol their home town, fulfilling life-long dreams.
Tyson Martin, 24, and Paul Mackay, 32, had their first day in the station on Monday. Mr Mackay will return to Police College for another month but then will be a fully signed up constable.
Mr Martin had his graduation on December 19.
"I left in the middle of August for Police College. Before that I worked as a printer," Mr Martin said.
"I have always wanted to be a policeman ever since I was kid, but I needed some life experience first so I left Timaru Boys' (High School) and got a trade."
He was originally meant to go to college in March but could not due to an injury.
"It was intense mentally. The paperwork and exams were high pressure," he said of his training.
Monday was his first day, and last night he worked from 5pm to 3am, patrolling among New Year revellers.
For Mr Mackay, the hardest part about college was leaving his young family.
He had been a plasterer since he was 16.
"I didn't want to have any regrets in life and I had always wanted to be a policeman. I thought with a trade behind me, it was a good time to do it.
"College for me was quite difficult, especially because I left school early. The paperwork is tough but practice makes perfect."
He will join the Timaru station in a month.
POLICE DEBUT SAFETY GAME
New Zealand Police and ACC have created the board game "Reach the Beach" to encourage safer journeys on our roads over summer.
To reach the beach safely, players take turns rolling a dice as they drive through a range of roadside challenges. When a player lands on a square showing good driving behaviour they get to move forward. Conversely, they are penalised for landing on squares with bad behaviour. For example: "Are everyone's safety belts buckled? Ready to Go! Move forward three," or "You checked your phone while driving. That's silly! Move back six".
- The Timaru Herald