‘People first’ his mantra
New top cop settles in
A quick glance at John Price’s whiteboard can tell you a lot.
The newly installed Kapiti Mana police area commander has a simple ethos he wants the men and women in his command to act on: People, people, people.
‘‘I’m talking to my staff about why we come to work and what it comes down to is people. It’s partnerships with members of our community that matter most.’’
Mr Price has dozens of faces plastered to his whiteboard, all under his command. From administration staff to community cops and CIB heads, he is busy aquainting himself with the region’s thin blue line.
Mr Price lived in Papakowhai from 1992 to 2004, working for two of those years in the Crime Control Unit in Porirua before taking a senior role back in his hometown of Christchurch. He was policing development manager from 2004-2012 and was acting Canterbury district commander when the earthquakes struck.
‘‘It was a huge challenge for police staff. This was a time when we really saw the positives in people; working with the other services and agencies to get the job done was hugely rewarding.’’
Mr Price also spent a year in Rotorua as part of the Operation Austin team that investigated serious historical sexual offending by police officers.
The Kapiti Mana opportunity arose last year to replace departing area commander John Spence and the 25-year veteran jumped at it.
‘‘I really wanted it. This police area has the diversity, headquarters and the police college are close, there are strong community partners at work and there is an exceptional policing team working here.’’
Mr Price believes the concerns Kapiti Mana has are not new, family violence being number one. Youth crime, burglary and vehicle crimes are significant in this area, the latter two spiking in the past six months.
He wants to see more emphasis on victims, ensuring they are do not become repeat targets, and tackling more of the ‘‘organised criminal activity’’.
Enforcing the liquor bans and a greater focus on policing the district’s roads are also key, he says.
Mr Price has three children, triplets, all aged 20. He and his wife are in the midst of selling their home in Christchurch, and plan to live in Porirua.
He says it’s difficult to leave Christchurch after what the city has gone through, especially when the work’s not finished.
‘‘But I’m finding why people love to police here – there is a commitment and passion . . . in Kapi Mana.’’
Price is right: Kapiti Mana police’s new man in charge, John Price, says the relationship police has with residents from Tawa through to Peka Peka is highly valued.