Tokoroa Youth Aid officer is no more
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.’’