Victoria Police recruits receive 12 weeks training at the Police Academy and 19 weeks on-the-job experience at Dedicated Training Workplaces (DTW) before being assigned to their first station. Constable Shona Manniche kept a diary of this exciting, educational time.
Dedicated Training Workplace
“From taking statements on my first day, navigating my way through my first court experience, breaking up a brawl and going for a swim in my full uniform – my last DTW phase station was a full-on challenge.
On a watch house shift a mother and her two very young daughters came in to report a rape. As the only female member on duty, and as the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT) needed some information before they could attend, I questioned the two girls. I was lucky that I had support from the members to helped me process this situation. Being able to work with SOCIT and the two young girls was invaluable though and I believe it has had an impact on my view of police work.
I was very lucky that my DTW station gave me the experience that it did. The members were so supportive and taught me so much about the job. I have been in some strange situations, met some really interesting people and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
This is my first week at my final training station, Sunshine, and you could say that I’m nervous. Finally I am no longer in the DTW phase but a Probationary Constable Extended Training (PCET). It’s strange to imagine that only a year ago I was walking into a world which I had such little knowledge about, and yet after all this time I feel like I’m still constantly learning, which is an exciting experience.
On arrival at the station I was introduced to a never-ending chain of members, given a locker and a tour of the station, which felt like a maze. There were so many acronyms and names which I had no idea about. It was overwhelming. But the members have all experienced this in the past and were very welcoming, they spent time to explain and introduce everything to me.
Over the first week I have asked so many questions, forgotten so many names and have stumbled through my first few shifts. It has been challenging but it has been great. The most memorable moment for me was being asked a question by a senior member, it really highlights the learning atmosphere of the police force and how you can ask anyone for help.
This week I got to see the Dog Squad. It was incredible to watch the dog and the handler work together and see how in sync they were with each other. We had spent an hour looking for the offender but it only took the dogs 20 or so minutes to track him down and have him in hand cuffs.
I also got to see the Victoria Police helicopter in action this week; they worked alongside the highway patrol and general duties uniform crews to track a vehicle and the offenders. The infrared camera on the helicopter was a great asset to have as the offenders ran into a bush block that we would have otherwise struggled to navigate. It was also good to see highway patrol safely followed an erratic vehicle and provide assistance to the general duties officers so we could navigate our way into a position that would best assist the road operation.
It has been great to see the diversity of police units and all the different areas that you can specialise in.
I did my first week of night shift this week. It was a real shock to the system as I had never worked a proper night shift before. I found that I struggled with maintaining a normal-ish sleeping pattern. Nightshift is known to be a time when the ‘crooks’ come out to play and provides a great opportunity for members to actively patrol areas if they’re not tasked with a job. It also gives you the chance to catch an offender in the process of committing a crime, which is an exciting experience that you don’t often get when working day shift.
I returned from leave to find my correspondence locker quite full; the paper work can be quite overwhelming when it’s all a new experience. I have found that putting your hand up straight away for help from the sergeants is probably one of the best things you can do, and this week it has made my life a lot easier.
In saying that, I have also taken on files for other members. It is an awesome feeling when you have a general idea of the paperwork side of a situation and are able to take files on request. It sounds strange to be excited or happy about completing files for someone else but I feel like I am starting to click with the paperwork and I was even able to help out another member.
This week has been the ‘strange job’ week. It has been great to talk to members who specialise in these offences and learn about the process for investigating them. I feel like I have learnt some obscure things, which I think is what makes this job exciting.”
Reviewed 10 February 2019