A police radio to help the community
The eyes and ears of the community now have bigger ears and a bigger voice too.
The Patea Community Patrol has recently had a police radio installed in the patrol car and acting co-ordinator Allan Caple said it added a whole new dimension to monitoring the community.
‘‘If something has been seen in the area when the police aren’t available and anything we do see we report,’’ he said.
‘‘Now anything urgent, we’ll radio through.’’
Caple said they had been using cell phones up until now, but this made things a lot easier.
Andrew Russ, the officer in charge at Patea, said the community patrol offered an extra set of eyes and ears to the town.
‘‘We’ve only got two full time police officers in Patea,’’ Russ said. ‘‘They can’t be here every minute of the day, so to be able to have these guys coming in and giving us information, looking out for things, it’s a tremendous asset for us to have.’’
The patrol, which is run by volunteers, has been going in Patea since September last year, and got the car in May.
Caple said they were originally part of the Waverley Community Patrol and are still connected to it.
‘‘We’re currently together but ultimately the idea is to separate out and have two separate patrols,’’ he said.
Caple said the patrol was started up to help monitor the community.
‘‘There’s been a few issues around the town in the past few years, that sort of thing,’’ he said.
The Patea Community Patrol doesn’t work at particular times.
‘‘We do regular patrols but we mix them up time wise at the moment,’’ Caple said.
‘‘Part of the purpose in that is to not be a regular thing because if you go at 9pm every night people start doing things at 7pm.’’
Dennis Buijtendijk, the senior constable based in Patea, said they have had patrols in Patea in the past.
‘‘This is under the CPNZ [Community Patrols of New Zealand] umbrella which is obviously nationwide so it has been done a lot more professionally and properly,’’ Buijtendijk said.
‘‘So hopefully it will have more longevity as well.’’
Buijtendijk also said they were needing more volunteers for the patrols because they currently only have four.
If you’re interested in volunteering for the patrol call Allan Caple on 027 2772624.
Dennis Buijtendijk, Andrew Russ and Allan Caple see the new radio as a tremendous asset.