From Mt Smart to the street

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

For­mer New Zealand War­riors player Tone Tatupu will be walk­ing to a dif­fer­ent beat when you see him down Queen St.

The 38-year-old is a now a po­lice­man and is part of new com­mu­nity ac­tion team set up to tar­get crime in cen­tral Auck­land.

“I oc­ca­sion­ally get recog­nised,” he says.

Mr Tatupu played for the War­riors from 1995 to 1999, but loves his more re­cent ca­reer as a po­lice of­fi­cer.

“It was a re­ally pos­i­tive change of ca­reer and this role is great.”

The com­mu­nity ac­tion team also con­sists of con­sta­bles Tai Rossi and Keki Wil­son and they are ex­pect­ing a fourth mem­ber soon.

All three are for­mer front line staff and are en­joy­ing the new role.

“It’s not a tra­di­tional com­mu­nity con­sta­ble po­si­tion,” says Mr Rossi. “It’s a bit more proac­tive.”

The team iden­tify prob­lems in the city, with help from the intelligence team, and work with the com­mu­nity to re­solve them. They have each been as­signed ar­eas to cover.

Mr Tatupu fo­cuses on Queen St and AUT, Mr Rossi cov­ers Par­nell and Mr Wil­son looks af­ter Karanga­hape Rd and Auck­land Univer­sity.

“We all cover each other’s ar­eas as well,” says Mr Rossi.

“It’s more hav­ing some­one for the com­mu­nity to iden­tify with.”

Is­sues in the city in­clude ve­hi­cle crime and some in­ter­na­tional stu­dents not tak­ing care with per­sonal safety.

“Most of crime is op­por­tunis­tic so it’s teach­ing peo­ple about be­ing re­spon­si­ble for their prop­erty and them­selves,” says Mr Tatupu.

“Peo­ple need to take pre­cau­tions so they don’t leave them­selves open to be­ing vic­tims.”

So far the com­mu­nity has re­sponded well to the team, says Mr Rossi.

“Peo­ple love it. It has started to cre­ate a flow of in­for­ma­tion on things hap­pen­ing that peo­ple would not usu­ally bother re­port­ing.”

The com­mu­nity ac­tion team can be con­tacted at the Auck­land cen­tral po­lice sta­tion on 302-6400.

Photo: JANIE SMITH

Com­mu­nity ac­tion: Cen­tral Auck­land’s com­mu­nity ac­tion team, from left: Con­sta­bles Keki Wil­son, Tone Tatupu and Tai Rossi.

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