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Police parade pays dividends

The men and women in blue have once again been recognised for their long and outstanding service in Wairarapa’s annual police pay parade.

Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said the long-held tradition at Queen Elizabeth Park was one of few still going in New Zealand.

“We do it every year, not every police area has a parade like this. It’s mostly a chance to celebrate the success of our people, police officers, and employees over the past 12 months.”

The pay parade’s origins stem from the unit’s fortnightly march to the magistrate’s office to collect pay packets. Any officer whose uniform was not up to scratch would see their pay docked.

These days, members of the public are also recognised for exceptional service to the public.

Shaun Nicholson received an area commander certificate of appreciation after intervening in what was on track to be a fatal crash in October last year.

Travelling on State Highway 2 between Featherston and Greytown, Nicholson saw a red car speeding toward him with the bonnet raised on the wrong side of the road.

Nicholson pulled over, executed a swift U-turn and followed in his ute, which contained his three young children and wife.

Nicholson told the Times-Age at the time that he felt compelled to act, pulling alongside the red car and tried to convince the driver to pull over.

“When he went into the oncoming lane, the fact was he was going to have a head-on with another family.

“This is a big car, the idea was just to get in front of him and force him to stop.”

Miller said the driver of the red car was in the midst of a medical event, and Nicholson did well to minimise the danger to himself and “saved a serious head-on collision” by forcing the car off the road.

“We don’t ask people to put themselves in danger, but it proved the right thing to do at the time, and he managed it safely without any injury.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Phil Scoglund, head of Wairarapa’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, was recognised for 35 years of service to the police, while Constables Dan Chu, Bobina Loader, and Tim Leeper received area commander commendations for saving a life.

Miller said the three constables worked over and hour to save a man from bleeding out after he suffered multiple life-threatening knife injuries.

“They made the address safe, called in an ambulance, and spent an hour assisting paramedics, essentially stopping the person from bleeding to death.

“They worked until he was stable enough to be taken to a helicopter and flown to Wellington Hospital.”

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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