Police giving locals the hard cell at open day
Nelson’s boys-in-blue are hoping to personalise the police force, opening up for questions, discussion, and a look behind-thescenes.
A police open day is planned for this Sunday at the Nelson police station, with police dogs and officers from the Criminal Investigation Branch and Armed Offenders Squad in attendance alongside highway patrol and other areas of police.
Acting Senior Sergeant Carwyn Blackmore said they aimed to show people ‘‘as much as we can’’, including a walkthrough of the cell block, and give a glimpse into day-to-day life as a police officer.
‘‘And hopefully show that we are just ordinary people,’’ he said.
Blackmore said a particular focus would be on recruitment, and there would be newlyrecruited officers, just out of police college, on hand to answer questions.
‘‘They will be able to discuss what it was like and the process for getting through. And then the other areas, like AOS and CIB, will be able to share what it takes to once you’re in police to get into those careers,’’ he said.
‘‘CIB officers can discuss the forensic side, but can also talk about what it takes to become a detective.’’
Police are expecting a surge in recruitment following last year’s election, which saw Labour-NZ First promise to increase police numbers by 1800 nationally.
But beyond offering insights to potential new recruits, the Nelson Police Open Day was a chance for people to see officers in a relaxed environment.
Blackmore said often people’s associations with police were shaped by seeing them deal with offenders.
‘‘Or it’s when they’re in a stressful situation, when they’ve been victimised. We might be going going to their place because there has been a burglary,’’ he said.
Sunday’s event would give people a chance to ask questions when ‘‘nothing is going on’’ and share more about the varied roles within police.
Blackmore said he’d been in the police force for 11 years and still loved the variety the job offered, and that no two days were the same.
‘‘If you’re one of those people who likes to plan your day out it might not be quite for you, because you think at the end of the day, ‘tomorrow i’m going to get this done’ and next thing some incident happens that takes up your whole day.’’
Partner agencies including Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Search and Rescue, Women’s Refuge and Big Brothers Big Sisters would be taking part in the day too.
The event would have familyfriendly activities, including a mini physical competency test for children with police radar set up to tell participants how fast they had been running.
There would also be rides in police cars and equipment to try on.
More information can be found on Open Days on the Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast Police Facebook page or the Police website.
Events are also being held in Blenheim and Greymouth on March 11.
Acting Senior Sergeant Carwyn Blackmore is inviting Nelsonians to get to know their local police officers during a Police Open Day this Sunday.