Cop this lot of potential police

ON THEIR WAY: Students graduating from the local IPROWD course on Monday (back) Breeanna Sanderson of Leeton, Clifford Caines of Robertson and Bruce Smart of Old Erowal Bay, (front) Matthew Coelli of Leeton, Bianca Higgins of Jervis Bay, Christine George of East Nowra and Mahalia Murphy of Doonside. Absent: Christopher Harrison of Nowra.LONG-held ambitions to become police officers and role models for their communities moved closer to fulfilment on Monday when eight people graduated from the IPROWD course run through Bomaderry TAFE.The graduation ceremony was a double achievement for Bruce Smart of Old Erowal Bay, who became the first recipient of the Peter Gibbs Award presented to the student who had overcome the most obstacles to complete the training.The 38-year-old, who was praised for his leadership during the course, said that was a reflection of his age and the fact he was older than most other students.Mr Smart said he was “very privileged, very honoured,” to receive the award named after the man who founded the IPROWD system to help more indigenous Australians become police officers.Obstacles overcome during the course included returning to school after an absence of 20 years, with Mr Smart laughing, “I’m not the smartest cookie in the group.”He also started the course overweight, but through the physical training component had lost 13kg to draw close to his ideal weight.Yet those obstacles presented only “short-term pain that will hopefully lead to long-term gain,” Mr Smart said.He said a career in policing would help him become a role model for his community and family.It also fulfilled a dream Mr Smart said he never thought he would be able to achieve.“When I was younger I didn’t think I would be able to achieve what I’m doing now,” he said.Mr Smart was one of 10 people who started the course set up to fill education and fitness gaps, providing a pathway to the police academy at Goulburn.While two people dropped the course part-way through due to family commitments, the remainder graduated on Monday.They revealed details of their training including a visit from NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.The training included a week at the police academy with other IPROWD students from across NSW, during which the students had a chat with Wayne West, who graduated from the IPROWD course at Bomaderry TAFE last year.Course teacher Helen Simpson said meeting Mr West “made it all very real, and showed where the training really led to”.The graduates said they hoped to be part of the first intake of students to the police academy in 2013.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.