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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.

Feel good vs doesn't look good

Oh, the irony – someone thought it would be a good use of resources to send PST staff out to help city council staff clean up the streets outside Wellington pubs and clubs ahead of the Fifa Women’s World Cup. Nice, feel-good story, I suppose. Meanwhile, a handful of blokes in Christchurch who “apprehend” a shoplifter can’t get us to come grab the offender because we’re too busy with higher-priority jobs. The business owner’s response: “It appears the police can’t look after us.” There go those “trust in Police” figures.

Too big for their boots?

In times like this, when the purse strings are getting tighter and tighter, I know that our gear, especially specialist gear, is rarer than hen’s teeth and should only be issued to those “specialists”, which is how it should be. Then, imagine my surprise when I hear of a senior officer, not in a specialist role, getting “Flash Harry” boots that only certain squads are allowed.

Gut response — slow down

Tactical Response Model: I loved all the hoopla some time ago about how it was going to do this and going to do that, all these extra staff and teams, 24/7 DCCs watching and keeping a look out. Whoa… stand down everyone, do you see the handbrake getting applied? Now that budgets are tighter, it looks like it’s being remodelled – how about no extra staff for those poor DCCs that are not yet 24/7 (I can imagine a few DCs kicking the odd bit of furniture). Some advice: How about SLOWING down the rollout. Pulling all the experience off frontline just to fill some OPTs (how many names have these squads been called?) will just add to the overwhelming demand everyone is facing.

Doing the safety (dollar) dance

The commissioner and even the prime minister have said the safety of police officers is top priority. But now we have PNHQ asking for hard armour plates (HAP) back from responder level 1-trained personnel who may have moved to a different job (because Police don’t have enough), and according to MyPolice, these staff do not leave the station. Yeah, right. MyPolice has never worked in a provincial district. Every cop who walks out of a police station should have a HAP in their vest, period. We live in a country of hunting rifles! Also, all those snazzy new Garmin satellite beacon things bought for our rural cops (because DAS/SAM and OSAs don’t work in the back blocks) are sitting in boxes under desks because Police can’t afford to pay for them to be connected. Safety definitely has a dollar value these days. Abysmal.

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