Bendigo Police Officer, Benjamin Drechsler, Was Part of the Largest Graduation Ceremony in Victoria Police History | Bendigo Advertiser

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The best and brightest of VICTORIA Police graduated in what was the largest graduation in the history of the organization, and the first ceremony in the past two years. Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton congratulated the 300 officers of the Victoria Police Academy at a two-day event on April 30 and May 1, 2022. Among the graduates was Bendigo police officer Benjamin Drechsler, 23, who said he was eager to finally graduate two years after joining the force. “It feels good to get that police degree to say you’re a qualified police officer,” he said. “It was a special moment.” The 300 officers, who have already started law enforcement careers across the state, were officially allowed to graduate after missing a few years due to pandemic restrictions. Benjamin said it felt “great” to know he was a part of history — graduating in the largest cohort yet. Mr Patton and Police Secretary Lisa Neville delivered speeches at the ceremony, and the proud officers were able to celebrate with family and friends afterwards. “This is the largest graduation ceremony in the history of the Corps and we are delighted to offer this opportunity to our newest officers who have chosen to attend this weekend,” said Patton. Graduations were held outdoors and traditionally featured the police belt, mounted branch, and shrine guards. “It was a good time to catch up with teammates because you don’t see them that often because we’re scattered all over the state,” Drechsler said. The 2022 cohort consisted of officers of different ages from different work backgrounds, such as former flight attendants, hospitality workers, electricians, carpenters and a diving instructor. Their ethnic composition was very diverse, including officers from Afghan, Bulgarian, Egyptian, German, Dutch, Swedish and Thai backgrounds. The recent graduate said the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on all new agents as it meant they couldn’t do their training and duties as they normally would. “We couldn’t go out anymore — because you go out and you get COVID-19,” he said. “We couldn’t go home because we didn’t want to take COVID-19 home with us. “So many times we just stayed in the academy to study and play board games.” Always a community spirit, Mr Drechsler had volunteered with the CFA since he was 16 and served in the military before joining the police force. The young officer said he wanted to be a police officer to help his community and that was his nature. “I like helping people,” he said. Drechsler said he loved police work and got a lot of satisfaction from his job. “Being a police officer, you get to go out and help your community and jump into things that matter,” he said. When he was able to work as a police officer at the Bendigo Police Station, where he spent most of his life, the Dr. Drechsler on the “There are some great mentors here at Bendigo,” he said. “Bendigo is my favorite place to work.” The agent said he didn’t know what he would be doing in five years, but he liked it liked to work in the van and work as a crime scene first responder, and that he was interested in highway patrols and investigations.


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