Work story helps oth­ers

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

The story of a po­lice­woman talk­ing a young man out of end­ing his life is the sub­ject of an art in­stal­la­tion in the city cen­tre.

It is part of a po­lice re­cruit­ment cam­paign that demon­strates of­fi­cers’ ex­tra­or­di­nary work sto­ries.

Deanne Teao is the iwi li­ai­son of­fi­cer for Coun­ties Manukau Po­lice and a ne­go­tia­tor.

One night ear­lier this year she was called to a sit­u­a­tion where a young man was stand­ing on an over­bridge and was close to jumping or fall­ing.

‘‘Po­lice get called to a lot of in­ci­dents like that un­for­tu­nately,’’ she says.

‘‘I talked about his whanau and his kids and how much they would miss him if he wasn’t around. It’s an easy thing to talk to peo­ple about and it helps them to re­mem­ber what is im­por­tant in life.’’

Even­tu­ally she was able to build up enough of a rap­port to be able to climb up to him.

Telling the man she was scared of heights helped to get him down.

‘‘He was more wor­ried about me he kept say­ing ‘are you OK Miss’?’’

‘‘That’s what I en­joy about the po­lice – be­ing able to con­nect with peo­ple. When you are able to achieve some­thing pos­i­tive it is very re­ward­ing.’’

Ms Teao re­cently vis­ited the young man who is now work­ing and feel­ing a lot bet­ter.

‘‘He’s re­ally happy for his story to be told,’’ she says.

The Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion is sup­port­ing the in­stal­la­tion.

Po­lice aim to re­cruit 400 peo­ple over the next year.

In light of New Zealand’s chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics po­lice would like to hear from peo­ple of a range of eth­nic­i­ties in­clud­ing Maori, Pasi­fika, African, Asian and In­dian, as well as more women.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Climb down: Sergeant Deanne Teao was able to talk a man out of mak­ing a bad choice. Now the story is the sub­ject of an art in­stal­la­tion to drive po­lice re­cruit­ment.

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