Showing that cops can bust not only drug dealers but great dance moves, a police recruitment video featuring two Te Wānanga o Aotearoa graduates has gone viral.
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Police Career Preparation programme graduates, Counties Manukau constables Josie Mehau and Semone Moke-Pouwhare are usually fighting crime but are among a contingent who are showing the world our cops know how to party with dance moves that are bordering on criminal in the “running man challenge”.
In less than 24 hours after the video was released last week it had reached 11 million people.
The story was picked up by New Zealand media– and other media overseas – and police forces around the world are responding in kind.
National Programme Manager (Police) Joseph Lundon said the running man challenge showed PCP graduates were up to the everyday challenges life on the police force posed.
And more TWoA graduates, including three this week, were preparing to swell the police ranks as the force tries to increase the diversity of its makeup.
“This has been a recruitment focus of the police for some time, they are wanting to increase Māori, Pacific Island, female and ethnic representation on the force and those in the 18 to 25 years age bracket.”
Police figures show there are 12,000 sworn officers in the entire force but just 11.7 per cent of those are Māori. The figures shrink further for Pacific Islanders (4.9 per cent) and Asian (2.5 per cent).
Joseph said the 36-week Level 4 programme was attracting a diverse range of ethnicities including Indians, Koreans, Thais, Indonesians and Chinese as prospective police officers.
TWoA runs the programme at its Whirikoka, Waiariki, Raroera, Porirua and Mangere sites, each of which accounts for distinct ethnic flavours in terms of their makeup.
“In Tāmaki (Auckland) and Porirua it tends to be mainly Pacific Islanders while in Rotorua and Gisborne most of our tauira are Māori.”
“In Tainui, Pākeha make up most of the numbers.”
More than 80 Te Wānanga o Aotearoa graduates have become serving members of the New Zealand Police force since the programme started in 2009.
Joseph said police were pleased with the quality of TwoA graduates who after completing their programmes are ready for the demands of the National Police College.
“Our tauira go down there a lot more prepared than someone who is fresh off the boat.”
“What they (police) have noticed with our wānanga people is they come through a lot more confident, competent and they are aware of the expectations.”