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Iam Keen (May 2020)

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

Strange times

Well, these are some of the strangest times I have policed in my whole career, and there was a lot of angst when the reality of Covid-19 settled in.

I am not the most hygiene-conscious type, but I went through the kit bag and dragged out the dodgy old face masks. There was a big sigh of relief around my station when the new PPE gear arrived.

From what I’ve seen, Police has done a pretty good job of looking after us, given the uncertainty of the situation. While for the first couple of weeks we might have been relying on the old “Fish & Chip Act” to get us through, once our powers were clarified it was a bit easier to operate. Though no flat whites or takeaways is a bit of a copper’s nightmare.

Young at heart

Seeing the new commissioner on the telly doesn’t make me feel any younger, and he might want to get that beard back to make me feel better about my own weathered appearance. That said, congratulations are much deserved, and he certainly has a big job in front of him. Policing is likely in for some significant changes in the next few years.

Talking of his appointment, it wasn’t a great look seeing all the media leaks coming out about some of the candidates for the big role. Frankly, it looked very untidy to the troops and my contacts in the capital tell me it would have done Police no favours with the politicians.

My same informants also tell me the new boss has already made steps to move on from this.

Dunbier back on deck

Added to the Castle intrigue, I hear chatter about Deputy Commissioner Glenn Dunbier returning to the fold. That’s sure to be well received by the troops at the coalface, as well as within the Castle walls, given his reputation as a straight shooter with a big dose of empathy.

It’ll be interesting to see if other changes include a reduction in the number of those assistant commissioner roles that have proliferated in the past few years.

Keyless starts

Just in case you’re thinking it’s a day you’d have been better off staying in bed, spare a thought for our Hawke’s Bay colleagues, with two police cars stolen by the same offender in the same incident! My 4Qs tell me it was the keyless starter that was the problem – along with a very nifty offender, of course.

I am sure he will dine out on the story as he relaxes in remand, but it does point to the need for a kill switch of some sort, as this has happened a few times lately.

As an aside, I hear a dog handler had some braking issues in the same incident. There’s no good police tale that doesn’t involve a dog handler somewhere.

Stay safe out there...

Constable Iam Keen

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