Policing in Tenterfield is proving to be quite a contrast for the station’s newest addition Senior Constable Jarryd De Castro, who’s more accustomed to the frantic pace of an inner-city beat.
Snr Cst De Castro had been in his new post just five hours when the Star caught up with him, but the more laid-back style of community policing in a small town was already making an impact, and he’s more than willing to make the adjustment after setting up home here.
“I can feel the vibe, it’s so welcoming,” he said.
“Everyone will wave and acknowledge the police, rather than being in their own world.”
The silence at night is also a welcome reprieve from where he last lived at North Shore.
He’s looking forward to doing the school run and saying ‘hi’ to the kids, once school returns after the holidays.
It’s the first country posting for the five year-veteran of the force. His last job at Surry Hills in a station with 60-80 officers and a lot of through-traffic from members of the public he’d never get to know was a good training ground, but he now feels ready for more community-based policing.
One of his first jobs here was returning a lost wallet to someone visiting town, and he and the recipient had a conversation about the country mentality and genuineness of the people.
He’s looking forward to meeting the residents of Tenterfield and, much like his boss Sergeant James Boaden, is known to be up for a chat.
Snr Cst De Castro has signed up for a three-year posting here and may extend that. Originally from Port Macquarie, he completed a degree in justice studies at Ballarat University before attending the police academy.
After two years of general duties he spent another two years in a ‘higher visibility’ role including drugs and property crime and working as the station’s Gay and Lesbian Outreach Liaison Officer before returning to general duties in preparation for a country posting.
A fellow officer had described Tenterfield as a ‘hidden gem’ and Snr Cst De Castro accepted his new job before even visiting. So far he’s impressed, although before coming here the extent of his knowledge was the 7 Network’s Peter Allen mini-series.
His complaint to Sgt Boaden that the morning was quite chilly didn’t earn him much sympathy, with his first Tenterfield winter still ahead of him. He described Tenterfield as beautiful town, low key but close to the coast and Brisbane.
He has never wavered from wanting to serve in the force. At the obligatory embarrassing photos presented at his 21st birthday, included was a mindmap he’d created in year 6 at primary school, and his ambition then was to become a police officer.
He has moved here on his own and is looking at his sporting options, having played soccer as a child. He hopes to have more time for such pursuits now, with touch football also an option.
“It’s a complete lifestyle change,” he said.
“I want to get involved with the community.”
His long-term plan is to become a detective, working his way up to a supervising role possibly continuing in a country posting. To achieve that he’s keen to get experience in different aspects of policing under his belt.
With a 25-year career stretching ahead of him and currently without dependents he felt now is the time to pack up and make the big move to Tenterfield.
While he will be out and about introducing himself to residents, he invited anyone to come up to him and have a chat.