Former Northland detective promoted to top cop

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Newly appointed Comissioner of Police Mike Bush.
Newly appointed Comissioner of Police Mike Bush.

A former detective who worked in Northland has been promoted to New Zealand's top cop.

Police Minister Anne Tolley has announced the appointment of current Deputy Commissioner Operations, Mike Bush MNZM, as the next Commissioner of Police.

Mr Bush, who has a wide range of operational experience both in New Zealand, overseas and in Northland, has been appointed for a three-year term which starts next month.

Mr Bush was stationed in Kaitaia as a detective for four years in the 1990s, and married Kaitaia woman Vicki Bellingham.

"Since joining the Police in 1978 as a young constable I am passionate about this job. I come to work every day knowing that I am part of an organisation that has a major impact upon people's lives," Mr Bush said.

He has been Deputy Commissioner Operations since April 2011, and through Prevention First and Policing Excellence has managed a change programme in police which has contributed to a 17.4 per cent drop in recorded crimes over the past three years.

He has held challenging roles in rural, provincial and urban areas, and as District Commander in Counties Manukau he pioneered the implementation of Neighbourhood Policing Teams, which have successfully been introduced across the country.

Mr Bush was responsible for planning and operations for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and also led the rollout of smartphones and tablets for frontline staff which has contributed to an additional half a million frontline crime prevention hours each year.

As Police Liaison Officer for South East Asia, Mr Bush was the first New Zealand official to reach Phuket following the devastating 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and was awarded the MNZM for his work during the operation.

"I believe Mike Bush will be an outstanding Commissioner of Police, and will build on the excellent work of the current Commissioner, Peter Marshall," Mrs Tolley said.

One of the other contenders for the top job was Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard who was a former officer in charge at Kaikohe and Northland District Commander.

- Northern Advocate

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