New faces on the beat

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Meet Oamaru’s newest police recruits.

Constables Sam Thompson (26) and William Szabo (24) have been posted to Oamaru after recently graduating from the Royal New Zealand Police College, in Porirua.

It is a hometown posting for Const Thompson, who grew up in Oamaru, while Const Szabo moved here from Dunedin.

A former St Kevin’s College pupil, Const Thompson said he was drawn to the job for its variety of work and range of career opportunities.

But it was his involvement in air cadets in Oamaru, under the guidance of Sergeant Blair Wilkinson and former sergeant Derek Beveridge, that ultimately piqued his interest in joining.

“It’s something I’d always been interested in and going through cadets and youth group, working with Derek and Blair, they both loved the job,” he said.

He graduated from Wing 322 on January 17 and started working at the Oamaru station in early February.

He said Oamaru was a great place to start his career and he had enjoyed his first month on the job.

“It’s been fun, to say the least. Every day is different,” he said.

Outside work, he has been involved in air cadets as a youth leader since 2011 – and will continue to be involved around his new job.

Const Szabo is just three weeks out of police college.

He grew up in Wellington, and moved to Dunedin to go to university, where he studied microbiology.

“I went to uni with the same idea as everyone – I want to be a doctor,” he said.

“Did a degree in microbiology, then post-grad, but decided I didn’t want to do a PhD.”

Joining the police had been a recent interest, but he said he was always drawn to the emergency services.

Const Szabo said he was looking forward to getting stuck in to the new job and settling into Oamaru life.