New cop wears pas­sion on his sleeve

Matamata Chronicle - - Out&about - ABBY BROWN

‘‘[Ac­cept­ing tat­toos] shows we are nor­mal mem­bers of the pub­lic like ev­ery­one else.’’

Craig Thorne, who is Mata­mata’s new po­lice sergeant, is ex­cited about be­com­ing part of the Mata­mata com­mu­nity.

He moved from Tau­ranga to take up the role in Mata­mata be­cause the smaller com­mu­nity means he will get to know more peo­ple than he would in a big­ger area.

The tat­tooed, pad­dle-board­ing po­lice­man said the force is ac­cept­ing of di­ver­sity, in­clud­ing those with tat­toos.

He has a black and grey tat­too of a pad­dle boarder on his left arm.

‘‘It shows we are nor­mal mem­bers of the pub­lic like ev­ery­one else,’’ he said.

The keen surfer and mo­tor­cy­clist has been in the force for 14 years af­ter join­ing at age 24 in Tau­ranga af­ter mov­ing from Christchurch.

He is a fit­ter and turner by trade so re­signed in Au­gust 2008 to re­turn to that be­fore re­turn­ing to the po­lice in Jan­uary 2010 in Whakatane.

Af­ter nine months he was pro­moted to sergeant on the Pub­lic Safety Team (PST).

He stayed in this role for three years be­fore be­com­ing the al­co­hol harm re­duc­tion sergeant in charge of al­co­hol li­cences for a year.

PHOTO: ABBY BROWN

Craig Thorne is Mata­mata’s new sergeant.

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