For Marc Chai, working in risk management at a bank saw him develop an interest in fraud and investigation.
"Over time that led to an interest in the NSW Police Force," said Mr Chai, who was one of seven new probationary constables to join Fairfield City Police Area Command this week after graduating as part of Class 350 on Friday.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know and meet my team as well as working with the community to make it a safer place."
Mr Chai, Harrison Porou, Junni Yang, Sundy Lam, Mitchell Goodman, Daniel Pham and Carlos Urriago Toro started at Fairfield on Monday and will undertake a year of on-the-job training and complete an associate degree in policing practice by distance education with Charles Sturt University before being confirmed to the rank of constable.
When asked how it felt to throw the cap in the air and graduate, former preschool teacher Junni Yang, 23, said: "I cried...I was very happy to finally graduate and knowing my family was there to see me."
Education and Training commander, Assistant Commissioner Dean Smith, said COVID-19 presented some unique challenges for Class 350.
"The 218 students were first required to study at home for a lengthy period, and once on site, were placed in lockdown at the academy - unable to take weekend leave to see their families until two weeks ago," Assistant Commissioner Smith said.
"I congratulate them for the strength and dedication they have shown - it sets them up well for long and distinguished careers."
In his final attestation ceremony ahead of his retirement next year, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said 2021 has been another challenging year, with police taking on an "unprecedented role" in protecting the community from COVID-19.
"With our role in pandemic response winding down as the state progresses along the road to recovery, I want to encourage our newest recruits to remember what's at the heart of everything we do as police officers - community safety," Commissioner Fuller said.
Police and Emergency Services minister David Elliott said police officers play a "crucial role" in communities.
"..Often seeing the best and worst of people, but always upholding the law, and serving and protecting the people of this state," Mr Elliott said.