This paper explores the experience of police recruits as they move from the classroom experience to learning on the job. The research presented forms part of a larger study of newcomers to the policing profession. The study is contextualized within the NSW Police Force where recruits undertake university education with the final year of their university study coinciding with their role as a probationary constable in the field of policing. During the period in the field the recruits are developing their professional practice and identity through a process of socialization and situated learning. This paper will present findings, using case studies, of the initial experience of new recruits in the policing world to better understand the effectiveness of university–industry partnerships and pedagogical practices in the development of early-career professionals.