Top cop ex­cited for new role

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MATTHEW SALMONS

New Ash­bur­ton sub area com­man­der Phil Dean is ex­cited to bring his var­ied ex­pe­ri­ence in a new role with new chal­lenges.

Dean is an ex­pe­ri­enced cop with more than 20 years ex­pe­ri­ence in var­i­ous polic­ing roles. He’s also an avid thes­pian, in­volved with the­atre groups like the Kir­wee Play­ers and Cen­tre Stage Rolle­ston.

‘‘The the­atre charges me up and ac­tu­ally makes me a bet­ter po­lice of­fi­cer. One is the Yin to the other’s Yang.’’

Start­ing in his new role on Mon­day, the for­mer Can­ter­bury road polic­ing man­ager said his first fo­cus would be get­ting to grips with the is­sues fac­ing the Ash­bur­ton district.

‘‘I don’t know what I don’t know. I have all the num­bers and all the stats, all the cold, hard data. But that doesn’t tell me what the com­mu­nity feels, where the com­mu­nity is be­ing hurt.’’

Dean said he would meet with both tra­di­tional polic­ing part­ners and en­gage with com­mu­nity to de­velop a strat­egy.

‘‘I’ll do a stand-up, town hall style of meet­ing.

‘‘If I could or­gan­ise one within the first three months, that would be my goal,’’ he said.

Dean joined po­lice in 1993, spend­ing his first seven years as a front­line cop in Auck­land and Welling­ton.

In 1999, he moved to Lon­don and spent time work­ing with a so­cial hous­ing group.

‘‘That was just phe­nom­e­nally eye open­ing. Poverty like you wouldn’t be­lieve, ab­so­lutely mind blow­ing. That was part of the rea­son I looked into com­mu­nity polic­ing.’’

See­ing how much more ef­fec­tive groups could be in as­sist­ing com­mu­ni­ties when work­ing to­gether, Dean pushed for a com­mu­nity polic­ing role on his re­turn to New Zealand in 2004.

By the time of the Septem­ber 2010 earth­quakes, Dean was a se­nior sergeant work­ing in a strat­egy role with Christchurch po­lice. He took a role as com­mu­nity ser­vices man­ager for Christchurch East and helped co­or­di­nate a multi-agency ap­proach in the area af­ter the earth­quakes.

He later moved to the road polic­ing unit un­til his re­cent pro­mo­tion. Dean said his ca­reer move was about per­sonal growth, be­ing able to ap­ply his dif­fer­ent ar­eas of ex­pe­ri­ence into one task in both an ur­ban and ru­ral set­ting.

‘‘Some­times I’ll have to wear a town hat, some­times I’ll wear a ru­ral hat but I’ll al­ways be wear­ing my com­mu­nity hat.

‘‘Any­thing that hap­pens down there, I’m ex­cited that I’ll be able to be in­volved with all facets of polic­ing.’’

MATTHEW SALMONS/STUFF

New Ash­bur­ton sub-area com­man­der Phil Dean is ex­cited to get to know his new com­mu­nity.

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