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Iam Keen (July 2020)

Tough at the top... and the bottom

No one is saying it’s not a tough gig – and I don’t envy the commissioner the start he’s had in his new role – but as one of the troops I’m struggling to understand what he’s saying, and what he means. And, in fairness, the data limit on my phone can’t handle too many more of those videos…

Unfortunately, the new boss’s messaging around firearms when he cancelled the ARTs is now looking pretty suspect. And as for his comments about our uniform being a barrier, I’m afraid the tone is all wrong… It’s that uniform that people look for every day and we are proud to wear it.

There’s a bit of work to be done to get the frontline back on side.

On a different note, I see the commissioner has kicked off a restructure at the top of the Castle. That could be interesting. If nothing else, perhaps it will remind a few people what it’s like to be restructured, and let’s hope the comms around it are better than some of the stuff I’ve witnessed in the past few years.

Meanwhile, the whole country must endure the silly season that is election time and we’re already taking hits from the ill-informed, “let’s grab a headline” brigade.

Call me an old worrywart (many have), but it bothers me that, in the current climate, the new leader of the Nats has left the police portfolio in the hands of No 34 on the party list. I thought politicians would have learnt from history by now that having such an important portfolio way down the pecking order has real potential to backfire, and quickly.

I hope this doesn’t signal the importance National is going to place on law and order.

It’s not like MPs don’t go off cock-eyed sometimes. I see Ron Mark thinks we should have our M4s taken off us, or at least be assessed to see if we are grownup enough to have them.

Let’s just hope we can put that one down to a bad day at the office. It’s one of the craziest ideas I’ve heard for a long time and, sadly, recent events show just why.

The death of our colleague Matthew is one of the most sobering reminders of just what the job entails, so please look after each other and stay safe.

Constable Iam Keen*

To update Iam Keen with information,
email iamkeen@policeassn.org.nz

*This column is written by a frontline police member. It does not represent the views or policies of the Police Association.

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