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

Is this a play on words?

I read with interest the coalition agreement between the Nats and NZ First committed to “training no fewer than 500 new frontline police within the first two years”. That would be great if it means 500 extra above attrition but it has too much wriggle room for my liking. Remember the argument halfway through the last government when 1800 extra became 1800 new. We need to train about 450 new officers a year to meet current attrition so, to be an increase, this 500 commitment needs to be extra not just new. Three parties is enough for me – we don’t need two targets.

Field (training unit) of dreams

Speaking of new recruits, we are getting some awesome people these days, and those fresh faces are just what we needed. It’s a shame that in most districts there is no formal field training unit. There were, but then for whatever reason (most probably money), they got canned. Those units were invaluable in my book. With dedicated field training officers, the newbies get to experience, learn, develop, and grow in a gradual and measured environment. They are far more valuable and capable when they reach the other end and join a fulltime team. But, no, some districts just chuck them in the deep end, and hope for the best on an already-too-junior section.

Every TOM, Dick and Harry?

I took a bit of a dig at Code of Conduct investigation teams last month and the delays in inquiries. It appears the issue is bigger than I thought. One piece of feedback I got that does concern me is apparently we have about a dozen wellness advisers across the country but nearly 40 staff in Te Ohu Manawanui teams. For my money, the wellness of 14,000 employees warrants a bigger investment than investigating non-criminal complaints against Police staff.

Turn the heat up on DCs

Summer is round the corner, and wearing our much-loved BAS will have our body temperature rising. So, what do we do about it? Water, yep; air-conditioning is a must in our cars (full blast, team, there’s no other way); and take your BAS off when you can, sweat marks can be sexy. Do everything you can to stay cool. Police-supplied electrolytes would help too. (I’ve heard only a couple of district commanders supply these – should be all of them).

Silly season almost here

Well done to all those who managed to nab leave over Christmas and New Year. We all know this time of year is precious to us (especially our kids) and important for Police to ensure we have the right numbers on duty to keep the country safe over the festive season. So, whether you are spending time with your families or working through, I wish you all the very best. Thanks for your emails, keep them rolling in.

Stay safe everyone, see you in the new year.


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