Indigenous police officer, Constable Aaron Hartwell (left) with other recruits at Murgon's Police station.
Indigenous police officer, Constable Aaron Hartwell (left) with other recruits at Murgon's Police station. Contributed

'I want to work in Cherbourg': Police officer's big goal

THIS indigenous police officer is counting down the days until he is stationed at the indigenous town of Cherbourg.

Constable Aaron Hartwell spent the first 12 months of his policing career in Cairns before accepting a position in Murgon.

He has been stationed in Murgon for the past three months but the goal has always been to keep the residents of Cherbourg safe.

"I've always wanted to be stationed in Cherbourg," Const Hartwell said.

As an indigenous Australian, Const Hartwell said he was looking forward to working closely with the indigenous community.

"I want to work in Cherbourg and be able to touch base with my culture," he said.

"I see the great relationship the indigenous Police Liaison Officers have with the Cherbourg community and being indigenous myself, I think I can have that sort of relationship too."

Const Hartwell completed the indigenous Recruit Preparation Program before starting at the North Queensland Police Academy in Townsville.

"The program teaches you the fundamentals of the academy," he said.

On successful completion of the nine-week indigenous recruitment program, Const Hartwell then transitioned into the beginning of police academy training.

"The other recruits would come to us and ask us questions because we had already experienced so much through the indigenous program," he said.

The Murgon police officer said his time at the academy was invaluable in teaching him team work.

"We had a really good group of people," he said.

"The motto was one in, all in.

"If someone was struggling, I would think 'what can we do to make sure this person passes?'"

This team mindset has assisted Const Hartwell on the street as a police officer.

"When you are on the street, people don't see police as an individual, they only see the blue uniform," he said.

"We have to look out for each other."

The 25-year-old police officer always wanted to be a police officer from a young age.

"I was one of those little kids growing up running around in the police uniform," he said.

Const Hartwell encouraged any indigenous person who was interested in joining the police force to take the first step.

"Just put in your application and see how it goes," he said.

"The indigenous recruitment team will really help you, they just want what's best for everyone."