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Iam Keen (February 2020)

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

Too close for comfort

Police don’t usually get the back-to-work blues that others suffer from. Mostly, that’s because we are the lucky ones who actually love our jobs. And, most of the time, we don’t go to work worrying about the worst things that might happen… like being shot.

Last month, a man who had pointed a rifle at police and pulled the trigger, twice, appeared in court for sentencing on charges of using a firearm against police. He copped 34 months in jail – to be served in full because it was a “second strike” offence.

If it had not been for the fact that the safety catch of the loaded and cocked firearm was on, he might have been facing more serious charges. And, as a few mates commented at the time, we might have been attending a couple of funerals.

There’s also been criticism that the sentence was too light, and it’s easy to see why.

Imagine hearing the “click” as he pulled the trigger, and then a second time?

Close calls like that can prey on your mind, and a bit of time out from work would be in order for officers in those situations, but most of us just count ourselves lucky – again – and get on with the job. And, as we all know, these days we are coming into contact with loaded guns all the time. Thank God for safety catches.

Double-crewing, double quick

If a story I was told is even close to accurate, the days of single-crewing might be numbered. As it was relayed to me, a group of young girls were attacked while camping on a front lawn of a bach at a small North Island beach town. When an older brother went to intervene he was viciously assaulted by a gang member. The family called 111, but a nearby car was not dispatched as it was one-up and it was deemed too dangerous for a sole officer to attend.

I might be old-fashioned, and get accused of being gung-ho, but if this is to become acceptable use of TENR, then double-crewing of all cars needs to be mandatory.

A few more such incidents and that trust and confidence of the public that is so highly valued will be flushed down the dunny.

Hat check

I see the issue of Police-issue caps is on the discussion agenda again. Not a bad idea, if you ask me, but it does remind me of the great Akubra initiative where everyone in the country got issued one.

A few country colleagues took to them, but the majority of these sunhats never left their boxes.

I have always wondered where they ended up as there must be several thousand out there somewhere, most brand new. I might check Trade Me.

Stay safe out there...

Constable Iam Keen

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

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