From Mt Smart to the street
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.
Community action: Central Auckland’s community action team, from left: Constables Keki Wilson, Tone Tatupu and Tai Rossi.