Police Service of Northern Ireland celebrate 100th Graduation Ceremony
The Chief Constable, George Hamilton along with the Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Anne Connolly and Minister for Justice, David Ford today, Friday 1 April attended the 100th graduation ceremony of 47 new police officers.
The graduating student officers entered the police training college in October and have successfully completed five months intensive training. The officers will now complete a probationary period for two years during which time they will be mentored for one year.
Speaking at the graduation the Chief Constable George Hamilton said “Today 47 student officers will graduate. Since the inception of the Police Service there have been a total of 4,576, officers who have graduated. The first squad of Police Service of Northern Ireland officers graduated from here on the 5 April 2002 – that is just over 15 years ago, during that time we have witnesses many changes.
“We are now operating in an environment of austerity. Our budgets have reduced drastically since the formation of the Police Service, but by collaborating closely with our partners and our communities, we will continue to play our part.
“Those graduating today will play a key role in working to deliver our vision of keeping people safe across all communities in Northern Ireland. Policing with the community means understanding how your actions as a police officer impact on individuals and communities. It means treating people with courtesy, respect and fairness.
“We are perhaps one of the most accountable organisations in policing and that in itself is one of our greatest strengths.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each of the officers today and wish them every success in their policing career.”
Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said: “This 100th graduation marks another special day in the history of the PSNI. Since 2001 over 4,500 people from all walks of life have stepped forward to serve the community.
“Policing has a critical role to play and we thank all the officers and staff of the PSNI for the work they professionally do on our behalf.”
Justice Minister, David Ford said: “I warmly congratulate those student officers who have successfully completed their training. This is the beginning of what I trust will be a long and rewarding career in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, with the opportunity to make a real difference to the people they serve.
“Policing is a profession which offers many rewards and the role of a police officer is one in which the public places a high level of trust. It is also a role with many expectations and demands, but with the satisfaction of knowing that each contribution matters. I wish the new officers every success in the future.”
The Chief Constable will present the Baton of Honour to the overall best performing student and the Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board will present the academic prize to the student who has received the best scores in the major exams and assessment throughout the programme.
A total of 47 officers graduated today
20 Female officers
27 Male officers
All of the new student officers will be assigned to Local Policing Teams across Northern Ireland.