Work story helps others
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.
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.