Upper Hutt Police Youth Aid officer Constable Jeff Scoringe is off to Tampa Bay, Florida, next year as part of a Rotary International Group Study Exchange.
Jeff, 37, has been selected with three other people â€“ a psychologist from New Plymouth, a tourism industry specialist from Ohakune and a marketing manager from the Wairarapa â€“ to go in May 2005 with a team leader from Rotary District 9940 (Taranaki to Wellington) on the six-week study exchange to Florida.
The Rotary International Group Study Exchange is an opportunity for young professionals aged 25 to 40 years to be hosted by Rotarians in another country, and extend their knowledge in a general sense as well learn more about their own vocation.
Jeff is the fourth Wellington police officer in recent years to be selected for the programme. Previous recipients have been Inspector Marty Grenfell, Constable Eugene Winterburn and Sergeant Denise Traill.
"The pre-selection interviews and the selection weekend in Otaki was a chance for all of us to prove ourselves," Jeff says. "It was a tough weekend with lots of team building exercises and impromptu speeches. We also had to deliver a prepared speech and take part in group discussions, all done in front of a selection committee of about 30 people.
"I was rapt to hear that I had been selected. Itâ€™s great for me and I hope it will be great for the police too."
Jeff, who is married with a three-year-old son, has traveled to the United States before but hasnâ€™t been to Florida, or the Tampa Bay area â€“ home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team.
"Iâ€™m a sports junkie so I hope to catch a game," he says.
A police officer for seven years, Jeff is also a member of the Specialist Search Group. Heâ€™s worked on general duties, police motorbikes, and is a former community constable in Lower Hutt.
While the group is in Tampa Bay they will be hosted with Rotarian families, and visit and speak with Rotary and business groups. They also get a minimum of one vocational week where they will spend the time working in their own field of professional interest.
Jeff is looking forward to the police aspect of the visit, and has asked to look at youth programmes and their effectiveness, general policing as well as spending time with specialist search and bomb squad personnel.
"Itâ€™s been reinforced to us that the visit will be hard work and long hours as we are kept on the go making several presentations, sometimes to groups of up to two thousand people, he says. "Being part Maori Iâ€™ve been elected to lead the haka and the mihi.
"Next year is also the centennial for Rotary International and with the USA being the birthplace of Rotary it is definitely going to be a big deal."
One activity is attending the Rotary conference - which just happens to be on a cruise ship in the Bahamas.
All he needs to do is stay clear of â€˜gators and hurricanes!