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Proud tradition fulfilled

The pay parade is a chance to celebrate the police and the community. PHOTO/SOUMYA BHAMIDIPATI

Friends and family gathered to celebrate Wairarapa Police’s annual pay parade at Queen Elizabeth Park last Friday.

After a parade inspection by parade master Sergeant Tim Crum and the official party, several officers received their respective 12-, 21-, 28-, 35- and 42-year long service and good conduct medals and clasps.

Several new detectives were also appointed.

The area and district commanders made special commendations.

Area Commander Scott Miller said pay parades started being phased out in the 1940s.

“There aren’t many which still do it,” Inspector Miller said. “We’re a lot more traditional, I suppose.”
A traditional pay parade involved the unit marching from the police station to the magistrate’s office to collect their fortnightly pay packets. Any officer whose uniform was not up to scratch would have their pay docked, Miller said.

These days, the parade was a way to recognise staff and members of the community who had gone above and beyond their required duties.

“It’s great to have the family members here,” Miller said, “And we invite people that we do a lot of work with during the year. It’s really a way of thanking our people for what they do.”

He highlighted the unit’s response to covid-19 as one of its achievements for the year.

While crime had reduced in some areas during the lockdown, this was not the case for all areas, he said.

He was also proud of the increased police presence in South Wairarapa.

“In the past couple of years, we probably haven’t put enough resources into South Wairarapa as we probably should have done.”

Other highlights were an upgrade to Martinborough Police station, and the opening of a hub in Greytown. A new unlicensed driver programme had been up and running for six weeks.

Te Pae Oranga, police’s alternative resolution programme had had an 84 per cent success rate, Miller said.

“You would not get that in a court.”

Wairarapa Police had also shifted the focus of its youth preventative programmes from 14-to 17-year-olds to children as young as six, which had “helped about 50 young people”.

Carterton Mayor Greg Lang told the assembly that police work in Wairarapa was “just outstanding”.

“I just want to acknowledge what you guys do for our communities, and our communities appreciate that.”

District Commander Corrie Parnell said he was “very proud” of the unit.

“They serve to highlight an extremely high calibre of people,” Superintendent Parnell said, “We can hold our heads high.

“But we haven’t done that alone, we’ve done that with the consent of the public.”

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