FIVE fresh recruits will enhance the Hunter Valley Police District stocks from next week following Friday's graduation at the Police Academy in Goulburn.
The NSW Police Force welcomed 269 new probationary constables to its ranks, who'll report to their respective stations for work on Monday, August 26.
"Class 338" includes 177 policemen and 92 policewomen.
Three of them will be based at Cessnock, with one each at Muswellbrook and Singleton stations.
They'll complete 12 months on-the-job training and study of the Associate Degree in Policing Practice by distance education with Charles Sturt University before being confirmed to the rank of constable.
Hunter Valley Police District Commander Superintendent Chad Gillies admitted it was a huge boost for the local command.
"The Commissioner promised to lift policing numbers this year - and he's doing that," he said.
"The five [recruits] are part of 11 new staff, we're expecting three Sergeants to arrive soon, too.
"It also follows the two probationary constables we picked up about three months ago.
"The newcomers will not only inject new talent in the area, but also plenty of enthusiasm."
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller APM embraced the rookies into the policing family, as well.
"These new probationary constables will join their commands on Monday, after months of training away from their homes and families," he said.
"I have no doubt that every day will prove both challenging and rewarding for these recruits as they begin their career as police officers.
"They will be stationed right across the state where they will spend the next 12 months learning what it truly means to wear the two-blues uniform."
Retiring officers Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins APM, Detective Superintendent Mark Wright APM, Superintendent Greg Peters, Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam and Chief Inspector David Kay were also farewelled at Friday's ceremony after 185 years combined service with the NSW Police Force.