‘Peo­ple first’ his mantra

New top cop set­tles in

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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