Toko­roa Youth Aid of­fi­cer is no more

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Af­ter spend­ing the ma­jor­ity of his 24 year polic­ing ca­reer as a Youth Aid of­fi­cer, Toko­roa Se­nior Con­sta­ble Darin Costar is leav­ing happy but con­cerned.

Costar, who also fin­ishes as the chair of the Blue Light, was farewelled dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony at the South Waikato Sport and Events Cen­tre on Fri­day and said he felt a bit like former New Zealand prime min­is­ter John Key.

‘‘I sup­pose I’m a bit like the prime min­is­ter be­cause I wanted to leave on my own terms,’’ he laughed.

‘‘It’s time to move on to a new chal­lenge, al­though I have en­joyed my time here and met some re­ally good peo­ple and made some re­ally good friends.’’

He said he was how­ever con­cerned the Youth Aid role would not be re­placed.

‘‘Our Youth Aid of­fi­cer here is one of the busiest in the North Is­land and we do have youth crime but be­cause of the work the peo­ple in the youth fo­rum do we have kept it at a man­age­able level,’’ he said.

‘‘They are not look­ing at re­plac­ing me which is very in­ter­est­ing. I think it is just one of those typ­i­cal ‘we will try and get some­one else to do it as well as what they are al­ready do­ing and if we can we’ll save our­selves x amount of money’ but I have told them they are go­ing down a track that will cre­ate dis­as­ter for this com­mu­nity.’’

Coster said ever since he grad­u­ated he knew he wanted to get into youth work which he said was vi­tal for any com­mu­nity.

‘‘I’ve re­ally en­joyed my time here deal­ing with lo­cal youth crime, nu­mer­ous youth pro­grammes, and just deal­ing with com­mu­nity groups which is the big­gest thing I will miss along with see­ing changes in our kids,’’ he said.

‘‘In the 19 years I have worked with them, and I have worked with thou­sands, I could prob­a­bly count the num­ber of bad kids on one hand.’’

‘‘To me it is the back­ground and lives these kids have come from which has been the big­gest in­flu­ence on them and a bit of guid­ance and per­sis­tence is all they need,’’ he said.

Se­nior Sergeant Ja­son Hen­der­son said while there will not be a Youth Aid of­fi­cer specif­i­cally for Toko­roa , there will still be one for the South Waikato.

‘‘Pu­taruru Youth Aid of­fi­cer [Se­nior Con­sta­ble Jackie Drayson] will be cov­er­ing the Toko­roa area un­til such time we de­cide what action we will take.’’

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