From sexton to policeman

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Former Otago Volts cricket player Neil Rushton is enjoying his first week as a constable back in his hometown of Oamaru.

Constable Rushton, who played for the Otago Volts cricket team from 2000 to 2004, graduated from the police training college in Wellington on June 27 and started work at the Oamaru Police station on Monday.

Constable Rushton has also spent several years as a sexton looking after graves in Oamaru and Christchurch.

The former Waitaki Boys’ High School student and housemaster said he loves being back in Oamaru and has been catching up with old friends.

“There’s no place like home.”

It had changed a bit, with the Victorian Precinct being tidied up, but the people were still the same and it is a great place to bring children up, he said.

“It’s quite a nice place.”

His first week on the job had been “a big learning curve” as it is very different and much “more real” than training.

“It’s just a whole different ball game.”

The former Otago Volts player had not played cricket in a while but hoped to get involved in the game while in Oamaru whether as a player or by supporting in some way.

“I’m definitely looking to get back into it.”

Sergeant Rushton had always aspired to join the police when growing up and being a sexton helped prepare him for the role as he would often be helping people in times of need for example when they had lost loved ones.

“I love dealing with people.”

Constable Rushton moved with his family back to Oamaru in January to settle the children into school before he headed off to train for the police in February.

By RUBY HARFIELD