A LIFELONG dream came true when Tayla Phillis buttoned up her blue uniform and put boots on the ground at her hometown's police station.
The probationary constable is one of six "eager" new recruits who have been welcomed into the fold of the Oxley Police District this week, after graduating from the academy.
Four of the fresh faces will hit the beat in Tamworth, while one will head to Gunnedah and another will be posted to Narrabri.
Among the six new officers are five women, and Ms Phillis said "it's really good to see" positive female role models, including their commander Superintendent Kylie Endemi.
The new recruits have joined the local community from all over, but by a stroke of good fortune, Ms Phillis has returned home to Tamworth to launch her career after living away for several years.
"I'm really happy to be back home," she told the Leader.
"It's amazing, I actually cried when I found out, so it's great.
"It's been a lifelong dream of mine to be a police officer and something that I've always wanted to do forever, I like getting out and about."
The new officers have graduated after largely spending their time at the police academy in lockdown and have since been catapulted into an ever-changing world of public health orders.
"It's all brand new ... we haven't really experienced the real world until now, so it's just something that we have got to accept and move on with it," Ms Phillis said.
Superintendent Endemi said the new recruits have overcome challenges and are now ready to learn policing on the frontline.
"We are extremely excited to welcome them to our ranks and they are extremely fortunate to come to a district like ours because we have experienced, professional police here that will train them closely," she said.
The six graduates will each work with two experienced police officers for the coming weeks, and will complete another 12 months of study alongside their operational duties. Superintendent Endemi said they provide a boost to the local squad.
The New England Police District took on three new recruits.
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