A SELECT group of 20 new recruits was sworn in at the Tasmania Police Academy yesterday in front of family and friends.
David Simpson, 50, was one of the recruits, chosen from an initial pool of 900 expressions of interest.
But the fourth-generation Launcestonian almost didn't make it.
Mr Simpson had always wanted to join Tasmania Police, but after an unsuccessful attempt in 2011 because of government cuts which forced a freeze on recruitment, he searched further afield.
He started training with the Australian Federal Police in Canberra, but about a month before his course was due to end he received an offer from Tasmania Police.
It was an offer Mr Simpson could not refuse.
"It was an extremely difficult decision because I only had four weeks to go up there," Mr Simpson said.
"We were two days away from moving my family to Canberra.
"The removalist was coming.
"So I had to make a very difficult decision then and there and the decision was made for me to return here."
Mr Simpson said his passion for joining policing in Tasmania won in the end.
"Being 50, if I did not have a red hot go at a policing career now, the opportunity may not come up again," he said.
"I decided to give it the best shot that I could.
"So we had to reverse everything, but it's absolutely been worth the effort."
Mr Simpson's careers have included horticulture and he has also volunteered with the State Emergency Service.
The new recruits are expected to graduate in May 2014.