Being a Community Enagagement Police Officer (CEPO)

08 October 2014
My interest was sparked in the CEPO programme by several of my colleagues who said they really enjoyed the role and that I should think about giving it a go.
Meeting the local brolga at Kalkarindgi
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Constable Robert Cartmill, CEPO Western Region

I joined the NT Police in 2011. I spent my first years after graduation in Alice Springs, working in General Duties.  I liked the people and the work but I wanted something different.

My interest was sparked in the CEPO programme by several of my colleagues who said they really enjoyed the role and that I should think about giving it a go. When two CEPO positions were advertised I applied and was successful. The have the area known as Western, from Bulman in the north-east to Lajamanu in the south-west.

The CEPO training was one week of background theory at the Police College, covering many fascinating subjects such as Indigenous History and Culture and the purpose of the CEPO role. My fellow CEPOs are a minefield of useful information and are a very supportive team.

The next week was the practical part of the course. I am a novice at life in the bush but I quickly picked up some skills – 4WD river crossings, camp cooking and sleeping in a swag as we travelled from Darwin to Gapuwiyak in Arnhem Land. While we were in the community we had the opportunity to speak to school children about topics such as bullying, respect and safety. This was my chance to see first-hand that CEPOs can make a real difference in people's lives.

The CEPO role is very varied and extremely rewarding. Meeting new people each day is a necessity. I love to speak with everyone and I enjoy the opportunity to interact and hopefully change people's perspectives. CEPOs constantly encounter challenges which we seek to work through and produce positive results.

As a CEPO you get the chance to visit areas that other people only dream of…who else has Arnhem Land and the Victoria River area as their office?

I love this job!