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Where Are Our Best And Bravest?

Where Are Our Best And Bravest?

By Len Brown, Manukau Mayoral Candidate

It is unfortunate and ironic, that in this critical time of need, it has taken 8 homicides, 8 wasted young lives, to attract to our city, police officers in something like the numbers needed day in, day out, on our streets.

We need our Police. They are a crucial part of maintaining safety on our streets. Good policing improves confidence and respect within our communities. It improves the discipline of our youth.

The essential work that gets done in our communities, through community organisations, schools, churches and families, requires the ultimate backstop of the law to be effective in dealing with the problems of drugs, violence and gangs.

It is essential that we take up the call for police recruitment within our own communities. Without a doubt policing is one of the toughest jobs in the public service today and for this we need our own best and bravest to step forward.

We need our own people trained and returned home to keep our streets safe and to help refocus some of our youth away from drugs, violence and gangs. We need our people in the rapid response teams and in the drug busting teams. They know and understand the history and nature of our communities and what works.

We need a continuous supply of local recruits because for every new police officer we receive, we are losing similar numbers through attrition. Staff retention in our local police force is a major issue.

It is time to review the recruitment standards to see that they are relevant for today. This involves checking that the criteria for selection do not automatically bar candidates with certain types of minor convictions but who would otherwise make fine police officers.

Of the 1000 new police to be allocated nation-wide, it appears our city will receive 50. We clearly need at least 100. This is so that we can effectively use rapid response teams across the whole city, so we can crack down on our tinny houses and P labs, so we can keep our kids out of gangs and focussed on school, so we can respond better to burglaries and enforce the law against graffiti. We also need our police to work with our youth workers and community security teams.

Policing today provides a huge opportunity to assist in rekindling our civic pride. Working positively with our youth is a very worthwhile investment in our future. Bringing about greater safety on our streets and being a champion for more productive and connected lives can also help redirect those of our people currently attracted to the gangsta life of drugs and violence.

It is time for our best and bravest to step forward.

ends

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