Indigenous people are joining police force in record numbers
The NSW Police academy saw its highest ever number of Aboriginal graduates last year - and that figure looks set to be broken again in 2020.
"If we don't get into the police force then we don't have a voice," indigenous police sergeant Bronwyn Whale said.
Last year, 37 young indigenous officers graduated to become part of a growing cohort of indigenous officers in the NSW Police.
"It inspires me and makes me proud that they want to join and make a difference," Sgt Whale said.
On Thursday, The Daily Telegraph told how senior police officers and politicians were calling on people to stand up for cops in the face of protests channelling problems with police officers in America.
Commissioner Mick Fuller said those protests had resulted in a spike in anti-police sentiment that led to a rock being thrown through the window of constable Nicole Welsh's patrol car in Boggabilla, near Moree.
On Thursday night, Constable Welsh shrugged off her injuries to go back on patrol as police and politicians warned the protests could undo decades of relationship building between police and indigenous communities.
"Those protests put at risk and could erase the goodwill and good work of decades," Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar said.
"Since August 2018 there have been 3357 participants in our youth programs, almost half of whom have been Aboriginal," said Assistant Commissioner Cassar, who is the NSW Police Aboriginal engagement spokesman.
The aim is to improve their self esteem, prepare them for work and "hopefully get them to join the police".
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday also joined the chorus of support for the "frontline heroes" of the police who faced the brunt of frustrations at coronavirus restrictions.
She praised them, saying that "when a police officer leaves their home, their life is at risk".
Police Association of NSW president Tony King said: "The oath that police officers take is to keep and preserve the peace and to discharge their duties faithfully according to the law.
"They will continue to do that."
Originally published as Why indigenous people are joining police force in record numbers