Recruits are ready to hit the beat

THE first day on the job was surreal for two recruits at Fairfield local area command.

Probationary Constables Maria Vamvouklis and Andre Poggian were among eight recruits who started in Fairfield yesterday.

It's been a long time coming for Probationary Constable Vamvouklis, 29.

She's always had her heart set on policing but decided to pursue a career in health before joining the force.

"I've always been passionate about health and policing and I guess I decided to make the change because I wanted something more challenging," she said. "I wanted to come to a job where every day was different.

"So I hope to get into forensics, the bomb disposal unit or even the dog squad."

For 20-year-old Probationary Constable Poggian, the hardship he's endured in the past five years steered him towards policing.

This has included the loss of his grandfather, an uncle and a close family friend while he was at the NSW Police Force Academy in Goulburn.

But the real motivation behind his choice was a car accident involving his parents in 2007.

"My dad was driving and he had a microsleep," he said.

Though his father suffered minor injuries, the crash left his mother with a serious brain injury and a fractured vertebrae.

From then on, life spiralled downhill for the Poggians.

Mrs Poggian required full-time care for eight months, which is why Mr Poggian had to leave his job.

Eventually, the Poggians had to sell their house.

"Life was pretty tough back then. It took three years for everything to finally settle," Probationary Constable Poggian said.

"After mum and dad's accident, I kept thinking about what could have been done to prevent it.

"That's why my ultimate goal is to get into highway patrol."

Both officers agreed Fairfield's cultural diversity was one of the reasons why the command was their first choice.

This week, the Cabramatta command also welcomed three recruits.

The officers will complete a year of training and study before they graduate and be confirmed in the rank of constable.

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