New Samoan police officer eager to serve South Auckland community

A new round of police officers have graduated from Police College this week, with the force's new Samoan officer saying he did it for his family and his community.

Constable Leonardo Wright, proudly wearing his 'ulafala, was one of the 36 new constables of Wing 347 to be attested at the Police College in Porirua. 

The 21 year old says he's "stoked and over the moon" to be graduating after a gruelling 16 weeks of training and induction. 

"Being the eldest of five, being the first in our family to be a cop in New Zealand is a pretty big acheivement. I just want to make my family proud."​

Wright's family weren't able to come to the graduation ceremony because of Covid-restrictions, but watched the livestream from their home in Otara. almost didn't happen

Getting into the force didn't come easily for Wright, with two earlier attempts at joining in his teens before trying his luck at a different career path. 

"I sort of hated my job in retail and then I was like, why not just try one more time?

​"I told my Mum and Dad, if I don't get into Wing 347, then that was it. And when I got the contract, I was like, this is meant for me, you know? This is my opportunity."

After three years of attempts, Wright says all the hard work and resilience has paid off. 

Going back to his community

Wright was born in Samoa, but has lived in South Auckland for 19 years, and is excited to have been assigned to South Auckland. 

"I'm going back to Counties Manukau, but we don't know our stations yet." 

He saying growing up in his neighbourhood is part of the reason why he joined the force. 

"I just want to make my community a better place, for my siblings and for those around me.

"I want to be a role model for them and to pave the way for them. I come from a troubled comunity so I feel the responsibility to make a difference and have a positive influence on those I come across."

Fourteen of the new constables are being posted to the Auckland district, with frontline duty starting on the 8th of November. 


Photo PMN News