Police cel­e­brate march in­cep­tion

Western Leader - - IN BUSINESS - CAL­LUM MCGIL­LIVRAY

The spine-tin­gling sound of bag­pipes spread through the streets of west Auck­land on Fri­day.

Hun­dreds of by­standers stood still as police from around the Waitem­ata district marched through Hen­der­son.

The Waitem­ata Police District hosted its in­au­gu­ral pay pa­rade on June 23.

Led by the Auck­land Police Pipe Band, three mo­tor­bikes and a pa­trol car, more than 150 police of­fi­cers pa­raded in their num­ber one uni­form through the town cen­tre.

For the first time police from Waitakere, Rod­ney and the North Shore com­bined into one event.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Tusha Penny had en­cour­aged the public to wit­ness the ‘‘unique oc­ca­sion’’.

‘‘Police of­fi­cers are the guardians of our com­mu­nity and the pay pa­rade pro­vides our staff with a great op­por­tu­nity to present at our best for our com­mu­ni­ties,’’ she said in a me­dia re­lease.

The pa­rade be­gan at 319 Great North Rd at 10am.

De­spite rain threat­en­ing to put a damper on spir­its, police marched to­wards and then down Hen­der­son Val­ley Rd, be­fore stand­ing at at­ten­tion out­side the Auck­land Coun­cil cham­bers to be in­spected prior to an awards cer­e­mony.

Police Com­mis­sioner Mike Bush in­spected the group, be­fore about 20 police per­formed a haka.

The pay pa­rade tra­di­tion harks back to the 1800s when police used to be in­spected at the sta­tion, be­fore march­ing to the mag­is­trate’s of­fice to re­ceive their pay every fort­night.

It also in­cluded police dogs, horses and mo­tor­bikes.

Hob­sonville Pri­mary School’s Moses Fa­le­olo, 11, and Yee Zhao, 4, walked hand-in-hand with Penny.

The march was at­tended by Su­per­in­ten­dent John Tims, Min­is­ter of De­fence Mark Mitchell, and sworn and non-sworn police staff.

An awards cer­e­mony was held at the coun­cil cham­bers at 11am.

Waitakere Sergeant Wil­liam Lawrence re­ceived a District Com­man­ders Com­men­da­tion Award for brave ac­tions while off duty.

Lawrence re­cently ap­proached two men un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol at­tempt­ing drive away from a liquor store.

He stopped them from us­ing a ve­hi­cle, be­fore be­ing as­saulted by the driver. Lawrence was able to de­tain the man un­til on duty of­fi­cers ar­rived.

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