Engaging with youth and the wider community is a top priority for new Manning Great Lakes Police District commander, Superintendent Chris Schilt.
Supt Schilt, who began his new role two weeks ago, replaces Shane Cribb who is bound for the Mid North Coast Police District.
Supt Schilt wants to ensure all officers maintain a positive influence on local youth.
"If you can get in early with young people we change the direction of their lives, have a positive impact on them when they grow up and it has the flow on effects of the crimes we do see," Supt Schilt said.
"For me here in the Manning-Great Lakes, I really want to work with the team to influence young lives positively."
Police as a whole have been subjected to public backlash of late.
The way to turn it around is to engage with the community, Supt Schilt said.
"That's the secret to our success," he continued.
"A good police force is always reflective of the society that it polices.
"We need to engage with the community and see what their needs are and make sure we can do everything we can to support them."
He has discovered a resilient nature within the community.
"I know the whole area here has gone through a lot, the bushfires and now COVID-19," Supt Schilt said.
"I can see the community has come together, remained strong and took on these challenges positively."
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Winding back the clock, Supt Schilt said a career in the NSW Police Force wasn't always on the cards.
"I went to university and studied to be a nurse. I didn't do a lot of work as a nurse, and I had a friend who was in the police and he sort of steered me in that direction," Supt Schilt said.
Once graduated from the academy, he was first stationed at Waverley in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
He was then moved to the Marrickville command, followed by a long stint in the Botany Bay-Mascot area.
"I was involved in a lot of emergency management there which really interested me," Supt Schilt said.
We need to engage with the community and see what their needs are and make sure we can do everything we can to support them.Superintendent Chris Schilt, Manning Great Lakes Police District Commander
Time at Kings Cross and Maroubra followed before a four-year term in the counter terrorism command.
Supt Schilt joined the Cootamundra command when he was promoted to superintendent and then enjoyed more than two years at the helm of the Hume Police District (Goulburn area).
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Supt Schilt was keen to get started in the Taree and Forster police stations.
"I'm very excited to be here," Supt Schilt said.
"I'm very lucky to have walked into a new police station (in Taree), we've got some great staff here and I'm getting to know everyone and see how things work.
"Every place you go there are some slight nuances and people do things a little differently so I'm starting to learn about that."
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