The NZ Police is now recruiting Asian Police Officers. So it’s timely that Jessica Phuang interviews Constable Gerald Bautista from the Auckland Central Police Station about his career in Police force.
Jessica: Constable Bautista, where were you born and how long have you been in New Zealand?
Gerald: I am from Quezon City, which is five kilometres from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. I came to New Zealand in 2012 so I’ve been in the country for almost four and a half years now.
Jessica: When did you join NZ Police?
Gerald: I started my application to NZ Police back in 2013 but didn’t get to college until 2015.
Jessica: What inspired you to join NZ Police?
Gerald: It’s always been my dream since I was a little boy to be a Police Officer, because helping others always made me feel good.
Jessica: What were the challenges for you when you were in the process?
Gerald: My initial challenge was trying to understand the Kiwi accent because English is not my first language, trying to find someone who was willing to help me when I got lost in translation.
Jessica: How did you overcome the challenges?
Gerald: I took notes. I studied even harder, read a lot and didn’t feel bad when I made mistakes because I learned that it’ll be imprinted in my head and wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. I found out that going to bed earlier (7pm) then waking up early (3-4am) worked well for me, my brain retained what I studied and I noticed I began to become more relaxed and didn’t feel as nervous at every test day.
Jessica: What about the training at the Police College? Was it challenging?
Gerald: The most challenging part of it was being away from my family.
Jessica: Name one incident that you attended to that was specifically significant to you and why?
Gerald: We responded to a trespass complaint and when we arrived we found two males sleeping inside a building in the car park. They didn’t have any criminal records but had previously been given trespass notices. They were both under 20’s and were homeless. They both seemed to be having a hard time getting a job. I really wished I could do more to help them rather than give them another trespass notice. I am just two months into the job so I am still learning how to deal with situations like this.
Jessica: Would you recommend that other people join NZ Police?
Gerald: Yes, I’ve already encouraged some of my friends and a few have already applied.
Jessica: What attitude should one have in order to reach their goals?
Gerald: To always be positive no matter what life throws at you and not to give up.
Jessica: Thank you Gerald for sharing your thoughts. I’m sure your story will encourage Asian people who are thinking of the NZ Police to give it a try even if they have reservations about it at first.
If you wish to learn more about joining NZ Police, we are having an Auckland Recruitment Seminar on 09 July 2016 at the Fickling Center 546 Mt Albert Rd, Three Kings from 10am to 12pm. Entrance is free and there is lots of parking. Parents are welcome too.