Humble hero accepts tribute for helpers

By Roger Moroney

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Former Hawke's Bay Police Inspector Kevin Kalff was quick to swing the attention away from himself when it came to acknowledging he had been awarded a Queen's Service Medal (QSM).

"It was a huge surprise to receive the nomination," Mr Kalff said from his Ahuriri home.

"And I chose to accept it on behalf of all the wonderful people of Napier who have worked with, and for me, to achieve what we did together."

He said while the police were ideally positioned to take a lead roll in supporting community based initiatives, nothing could be achieved without "passionate people in the community" who selflessly volunteered their time and were committed to ensuring initiatives were effective and enduring.

"I see this award as acknowledgement of all of those people who work together and are committed to making Napier a safer place."

What had been particularly pleasing was that over the last three years of his work as a senior officer in Napier there had been a 10 per cent drop in reported crime.

"They have played a big role in that."

Mr Kalff served the New Zealand Police for 43 years, starting out in Wellington, was Police Liaison Officer in Bangkok from 1996 to 1998 and was the Napier Area Commander from 1998 before retiring in 2012.

In 2003, he was involved with the Community Trust team responsible for CCTV cameras being installed around Napier.

He has been involved with the Safety Community Council and the Safe Community Youth Council and has worked with Neighbourhood Support Groups.

He has supported Napier Community Patrols since 2005 and led initiatives to reduce graffiti. He also championed the Ahuriri Maori Focus Forum, creating a strong working relationship between Maori and Police in the community, and has been involved in the Te Ka Hao Te Rangatahi Trust which has promoted education for young at-risk Maori boys in Maraenui.

Mr Kalff led planning to ensure safe policing of events like Art Deco Weekend and millennium celebrations.

"Everyone I've worked with is part of this - absolutely".

- Hawkes Bay Today

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