Students learn there's more to a career in the force
STUDENTS learnt the harsh realities of a career in the police force last week, realising it's more than just fighting crime and locking people up.
Noosa District State High School Year 11 Social and Community Studies students learnt about the work local police officers undertake with a presentation to the class from Pomona Police Sergeant Dan McNamara.
Sgt McNamara told the students that he was initially drawn to the excitement and drama of working for the police, but he has since realised there is so much more to the job than just police chases and catching "bad guys”.
"It is a noble profession and it is good knowing that you are out there in the community, making a positive difference,” Sgt McNamara said.
The students were surprised to find that the majority of the police call-outs are related to domestic violence, usually fuelled by alcohol.
"Unfortunately, there has been an increase by 40 per cent over the past year,” Sgt McNamara said.
"This may be because people now realise that there is help out there and they don't have to suffer in silence.”
Another surprising fact many of the students were not aware of was the township of Cooroy has one of the most sophisticated surveillance equipment in the state, with all vehicles' number plates scanned and checked as they drive through the main street.
Sgt McNamara said the state of the art security cameras have helped to stop crime and catch persons of interest after they fled incidents in other towns.
"Many crimes in Cooroy have been prevented or solved very quickly (because of the cameras),” Sgt McNamara said.
"Some vehicles absconding from a crime in Gympie were apprehended in Cooroy as the vehicles were spotted the instant they entered Cooroy.”
The class enjoyed inspecting Sgt McNamara's baton and utility belt, minus the taser and gun, and wearing the police hat and jacket while breathalysing their friends.
Sgt McNamara taught the students the spiel the police have to perform prior to conducting a breath test and how to best approach a car.
He said a police officer's hand print always goes on the boot of the car as a matter of course in case something happens to the officer during the interaction with the driver.
The process the police work through in finding a missing person was detailed from tracking a mobile phone through to identifying a body using dental records.
The class found Sgt McMamara's presentation to be fascinating, with some students now seriously considering a career in law enforcement.