Two homegrown recruits and a new detective inspector have been welcomed to the Riverina Police District.
Probationary Constable Nicholas Flanigan and Probationary Constable Max Hannan commenced their roles at Wagga Wagga Police Station on Monday, while Riverina Police District Detective Inspector Brent Falkiner joined the team in December 2022.
Wagga born and bred, PC Flanigan grew up wanting to become a police officer or join the Defence Force.
“My brother is in the Navy, and I’ve always wanted to go somewhere down that route, but the thought of moving and travelling wasn’t attractive,” PC Flanigan said.
“After school, I got a bit lazy and got happy doing any odd jobs, but last year, I decided to shed all the weight and join the cops like how I wanted to back then.”
PC Flanigan is stoked to be starting his policing career in his hometown but hasn’t figured out his long-term goals yet.
“I never really thought of living anywhere else … it’s where my family is and I always liked living here (Wagga),” he said.
“I want to explore what I can do … I don’t have plans to go to the city, but I may go out west and work in smaller communities.
“I may join the detectives, and dog squad is something that’s appealing,” he said.
The 26-year-old’s message to the Waggga community is that he will always try his hardest and help with anything he can.
“Being police means being able to help people on their worst days and be able to help, assist them to get through it,” he said.
Born in Canberra and raised in Young, PC Hannan applied for Goulburn Police Academy while still in school.
“I got the offer to join after I turned 18 and was pretty stoked when I got accepted,” PC Hannan said.
“I always knew I was going to join the cops from a young age because I wanted to be out and about helping the community and be out there.”
Being a police officer means everything to the 20-year-old.
“My family loves it and is pretty supportive,” he said.
“I love how everyone is supportive … being able to interact with the community and seeing how everyone interacts with me.”
PC Hannan’s message for his new community was, “Don’t be too harsh on me … I’ll try my best.”
The young PC said rural policing was vital for the region.
“It’s important to make sure everything goes right and engage with the community,” he said.
PC Hannan hopes to gradually work his way towards joining tactical operations.
PC Hannan lived in Canberra for 10 years and in Young for another 10 before moving to Wagga earlier this week to start his new life as a young police officer.
Insp Falkiner is the Riverina Police District’s inspector for human resources and operations.
His career in the police force spans 24 years, with most of his postings having been in regional areas.
Insp Falkiner was always driven towards a career with the police.
“After 24 years later, I certainly don’t regret my decisions to join the police … and still as keen today as what I was back then,” he said.
“I’ve been a career detective until recently and I’ve always been in criminal investigations and the highlight is getting the results of major crimes and in court getting some form of justice to families and people who were victims of crime.”
Despite being his first posting within the region, Insp Falkiner has actually returned to his hometown.
He was born in Wagga, and his family had a property at Collingullie but moved out when he was about five.
Insp Falkiner made a career choice to move to Wagga as he finds the area “absolutely fantastic”.
“It’s exciting and a new challenge and I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
“I’m supported by some great people at Wagga Wagga Police Station and it’s made it easy and a seamless transition.
“It’s (Wagga) very diverse and has got a lot of resources,” he said.
Region asked the new PCs and Detective Inspector for their best coffee spot recommendations in Wagga, and here’s what they had to say.
“I’m not actually a big coffee drinker but I’m going to have to get used to it with 12-hour shifts and the night shifts coming up,” PC Flagnigan said. “Whenever my partner and I go out for breakfast, we always go to Uneke.
“I think … Carlo’s,” PC Hannan said.
Insp Falkiner was diplomatic and said he could not choose one spot as Wagga had a range of coffee houses that offered great coffees.