Learning on the job
Alfie Uluinayau, above, says members of the public do wonder about his uniform. It says police, but it’s not blue. He’s happy to explain that he is an authorised officer – new to the role since he finished training in April last year and now stationed at Auckland Central in its custody unit.
Alfie, 41, a Fijian who has lived in New Zealand since he was eight, was a professional rugby player in Auckland and more recently in Japan before he decided to pursue a long-held desire to join Police.
He says he loves the work and the camaraderie of the team in the custody unit. He does have aspirations to eventually go to the Police College.
For him, becoming an AO is a good stepping stone and a way to learn what’s expected. He acknowledges the support and help of his trainers and the sergeants at the custody unit in “keeping our teams on track” and making the unit more “customer friendly” and professional. There are always incidents to deal with in the unit; it’s how you react that makes the difference, he says. He thinks that learning on the job is the best way to get experience.
He says he has had positive feedback from constabulary officers, who appreciate that the aim is for AOs to take on roles that allow constabulary officers to get out on the street. And everyone likes the new uniform: “Some of the sworn officers say it looks better than theirs!” he says.