Big job for new youth of­fi­cer

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

New Toko­roa Po­lice Youth Aid of­fi­cer, se­nior con­sta­ble An­drew Munro (AJ) knows he has a big job on his hands.

As the for­mer Toko­roa po­lice fam­ily vi­o­lence co­or­di­na­tor Munro, who has served all of the 14 years he has been with the New Zealand Po­lice work­ing in the Taupo Polic­ing Area, also knows first hand what many kids face.

‘‘There are so many kids who have not got a great lot of parental sup­port which of­ten leads to other prob­lems,’’ he said.

‘‘Tru­ancy is a big is­sue for the Toko­roa com­mu­nity, it is a prob­lem we are fac­ing, and that is some­thing I will be fo­cus­ing on.’’

Munro, who is also the club cap­tain of the Man­gakino Golf Club, said keep­ing kids in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem was es­sen­tial to keep­ing them out of the court sys­tem.

‘‘It’s my goal to keep young peo­ple in the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem while also un­der­stand­ing their per­sonal cir­cum­stances and also keep our young peo­ple out of the court sys­tem through early in­ter­ven­tion by iden­tify those at risk,’’ he said.

He said he hopes to achieve that by work­ing closely with ser­vice and ed­u­ca­tion groups that work with youth.

‘‘I am al­ready aware of those at risk through my pre­vi­ous role as the fam­ily vi­o­lence of­fi­cer and now by con­nect­ing with our schools and ser­vice groups, young per­sons who are in need of in­ter­ven­tion come to my at­ten­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘There are so many kids who have not got a great lot of parental sup­port which of­ten leads to other prob­lems.’’

‘‘The big thing is build­ing trust so young peo­ple re­alise there are trusted peo­ple in our com­mu­nity who are there to help with what­ever bur­den, prob­lem or is­sue they may be fac­ing.’’

‘‘I have a pas­sion for help­ing peo­ple and al­though they might not trust me to­day by in­ter­act­ing with them in the com­ing weeks, hope­fully they will go ‘OK’.’’

‘‘I am very per­sis­tent so if I say i am go­ing to do some­thing I will do it and i will keep go­ing back un­til i get a re­sult,’’ he said.

Munro, who grew up in the South Waikato and who was a farmer be­fore join­ing the po­lice, said he’s al­ways avail­able at the sta­tion for youth if they want to talk.

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Se­nior con­sta­ble An­drew (AJ) Munro is the new Toko­roa Po­lice youth aid of­fi­cer.

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