NEW TO THE FORCE: First-year constables  Gabby Walter and Shannon Rooney are eager to start work at the Dalby Police Station.
NEW TO THE FORCE: First-year constables Gabby Walter and Shannon Rooney are eager to start work at the Dalby Police Station. Sophie Volker

Girls in blue to start life on the force

THE BLUE caps were stiff and the boots were shiny when first-year constables Gabby Walter and Shannon Rooney joined the force at the Dalby Police Station last week.

The pair, who met each other while training at the QPS Academy in Oxley, have both always been interested in the law but, for Const Rooney, it's somewhat of a family tradition.

"My grandfather was actually a police officer in England, so it's something I've always been interested in,” Const Rooney said.

"I definitely always wanted to do something to do with the law,” she said.

It's the same for Const Walter, who also has a Bachelor of Justice from QUT.

While they're new to being constables, Rooney and Walter gained a wealth of hands-on experience in the skills phase of the academy, which they both agree was the most exciting stage of their training.

"Skills was when we got to learn all the practical skills involved; we did two weeks of firearms training, one week of taser training (...) and a week of interviewing,” said Const Walter.

"It was just really hands-on and got us out in the field instead of being in a classroom,” she said.

"It was what really prepared us for the real stuff,” Const Rooney said.

Both graduated from the academy on Thursday, February 9, and look forward to starting work in a smaller, rural town.

"I really like Dalby so far and I think it'll be nice to work in a more slow-paced and relaxed town than I think the metropolitan areas would be,” Const Walter said.

"I've come from Brisbane so I think it'll be very different and not quite so stressful.”

A team of four mentors, including training officer Const Brad Davidson, prepared the new constables for work in Dalby.

"We get two recruits every six months here in Dalby, so we organise two training days and then get them out to start work straight away,” Const Davidson said.

"It's only their first week, but yeah they're doing well,” he said.

Const Rooney said the team at Dalby had been a big support in the pair's first week.

"Everyone here's been so lovely and welcoming; we're looking forward to meeting more of the locals,” she said.


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