Lake Illawarra Local Area Command welcomed three new recruits to the beat this week, only a few days after their graduation from the academy.
Probationary constables Ariann Fernie, 23, Timothy Allman, 28, and Steven Uglow, 22, completed the first part of their studies at the NSW Police Academy at Goulburn on Friday - three of a class of 170 budding officers - and spent their first day learning the ropes at Lake Illawarra station on Monday.
While it seems a quick turnaround, all three agreed they were eager to put what they had learnt at the academy to use and get some hands-on experience.
"It's good to get some real life experience, not just working from textbooks," probationary constable Uglow said.
The three officers come to the job armed with a wealth of local knowledge, after growing up in Lake Illawarra, Bellambi and Corrimal respectively.
Each has a different vision for their life on the force. Constable Fernie is keen to work with youth, encouraged to join the police after her high school's police liaison officer proved a "positive role model" for students, while Constable Allman hopes to join police rescue.
They will complete 12 months' on-the-job training and study by distance education with Charles Sturt University before they graduate with an Associate Degree in Policing.
Detective Acting Superintendent Andrew Koutsoufis said the recruits were a welcome boost to Lake Illawarra's policing resources.