Each month, Police Association President Greg O'Connor writes a column on a topical issue in policing. This column is published both in Police News, and on this website.
President's Column - Don't know what you've got until it's gone
Some time ago, I wrote in this column of my concerns at how the role of senior sergeant is being diminished, and being removed from the administrative chain of command. Instead, the position now becomes more of a functional one, often with no direct reports.
President's Column - I rest my case
The recent publicity around the Arthur Allan Thomas case has served as a reminder to us all of the major impact that case had on police reputation.
President's Column - Staying balanced during changing times
I recently heard the head of a government body talk about “business-as-usual being the enemy of innovation”. He was speaking about the Canterbury rebuild and the opportunities that had been created for his organisation to innovate out of a situation where a new normal now exists, and people have accepted life will never be the same.
President's Column - Ominous parallels between Police and Defence
This month’s Police News features an article on the result of major changes and budget reductions in Defence.
President's Column - Assaults on Police
As we contemplate the new year, and what it promises policing wise, we need to first reflect on our colleagues who were punched, kicked, and abused while doing their jobs.
President's Column - The shape of change
It’s the festive season again and Police is shaped very differently to how it was at year’s beginning.
President's Column - Unfairly judged
When police come under attack for alleged botch ups or operational failures, the barbs are directed at the organisation as a whole.
President's Column - A senior moment
During the 1990s, in the midst of a round of restructuring and review similar to what we have now, a proposal was made to eliminate the senior sergeant rank.
President's Column - New brooms and old fences
There is an old saying that before you pull a fence down, you need to understand why it was built in the first place.
President's Column - Applying the Fairness Test
Cops are a pragmatic bunch and, in my experience, are generally driven by a sense of fairness more than self-interest.
President's Column - Centralisation is the new black
My wife recently bought me a paisley tie. I sceptically, and timidly, wore it to work, expecting to be ridiculed for having confused my decades.
President's Column - When clichés come true
The universe is balanced, what goes around comes around, Yin and Yang, the chickens always come home to roost…
President's Column - Don't blame the troops
The dark arts of political spin-doctoring visited us last month.
President's Column - The whipping boy gets a break
There’s plenty happening media wise at the moment around the country, but, at the risk of tempting fate, not too much is directed specifically at Police.
President's Column - Co-ordinated leadership
I was fortunate to enjoy a break at Waihi Beach over New Year and, while trying to avoid the so-called busman’s holiday, I did work with the locals on New Year’s Eve.
President's Column - Austerity looms over hard-won gains
The election is done and dusted, National has a majority with Act NZ and Peter Dunne, and by the time you read this, we may have a new minister. In an ironic piece of retro, it could be John Banks again!
President's Column - Treating each other as equals
While there will always be socioeconomic strata in our society, we have generally avoided re-establishing the class systems inherent in the Northern Hemisphere countries that European settlers escaped.
President's Column - Urgent law change needed for Police video surveillance
As I write this column, we are hurriedly preparing our submissions on the Government’s urgent bill to legitimise and reinstate the evidence we gather using video surveillance.
President's Column - Mob rule
How many of us watched the recent UK riots and asked ourselves, could that happen here?
President's Column - The value of experience
There’s not much that happens in the world of politics, media, or even disasters, which doesn’t have a police dimension somewhere.
President's Column - The drive for "efficiencies"
Anyone who thinks there is any fat left in our system just needs to visit a few overseas jurisdictions to see what value for money the New Zealand taxpayer gets from its police.
President's Column - An eye on politics
The financial situation means things will change for us all. Don’t naively think your workplace or station or district will somehow slip under the radar; no one else’s will.
President's Column - Police culture
It was reassuring to hear the new Police Commissioner, Peter Marshall, challenging some perceptions on Police culture during his round of introductory media interviews.
President's Column - What's good for the goose
What we can demand as police is fairness and consistency. Strict accountability of police is appropriate, so let’s have the same level of consistency around public servants, judges and parliamentarians.
President's Column - Reporting on Police
In ancient China, executions were sometimes carried out by ‘death by a thousand cuts’, and with the plethora of reports, workplace survey results and exposés on Police relentlessly being released and published, the phrase almost seems to apply.
President's Column - Assaults on police
What are we actually doing about assaults on police?
President's Column - Loose lips sink ships
Julius Caesar once said “I love treason but I hate a traitor”. There have been many variations since, applied to different historical settings. The modern equivalent, and relevant to police, is the media’s view of people who leak information to them.
President's Column - Police as 'tall poppies'
Being a fairly modest bunch as police officers, we have never really felt vulnerable to “tall poppy’ syndrome.
President's Column - Christchurch quake response provides valuable lessons for another issue
“The strategy has got to be to make sure offenders know it’s not worth it to have a go, not to make police tentative in enforcing the law and in doing so, making the roads more dangerous.”
President's Column - Theft of the frontline
“The real problem is that none of it results in better service to the public, because any advantages are quickly negated by the theft of policing time.”