Two Far North police officers are amongst 11 constabulary and four non-constabulary staff around the country who have been named as the inaugural recipients of Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Police Fellowships.

Senior Constable Rowena Jones (Kaitaia) and Inspector Chris McLellan (Kerikeri) received their awards from Commissioner Mike Bush and Sir Woolf's nephew, Sir Noel Robinson, who chairs the Sir Woolf Fisher Trust, in Wellington.

A third Northland officer, Senior Constable Atawhai Henare (Whangarei), also received a fellowship.

Kaitaia's Senior Constable Rowena Jones receiving her Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Police Fellowship from Commissioner Mike Bush and Sir Woolf's nephew, Sir Noel Robinson.
Kaitaia's Senior Constable Rowena Jones receiving her Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Police Fellowship from Commissioner Mike Bush and Sir Woolf's nephew, Sir Noel Robinson.

Each Fellowship comprises funding for international travel for up to six or eight weeks, and for a partner to accompany the recipient. The travel will include time to holiday, and to undertake a pre-agreed programme of study.

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Commissioner Bush said the Fellows had been nominated by their colleagues, many of those nominations including letters of support from members of the community.
"That is the greatest acknowledgement you can get," he said.

The fellowships recognised police employees for their sustained excellence and dedication to the force and their communities. They also recognised the invaluable support of partners and families, who enabled them to give their best to the job.

"The hard work and dedication of police employees can often go unrecognised," Sir Noel said.

"Through the Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Police Fellowships, we wish to establish an enduring legacy to reward excellence in service and to encourage the ongoing development of policing practice in New Zealand."

Reducing harm

The focus for Senior Constable Jones, who marked 21 years in the force on Saturday, is on crime and harm reduction in the fields of youth, sexual violence and road safety. She worked closely with her community to identify gaps and needs in services, the citation said, and assisted in the development and integration of new programmes and services.

She prioritised and encouraged innovation and community-led actions that lifted and empowered communities to create local solutions to local problems, and was always looking for ways to improve processes and service delivery.

The citation described her as a highly engaged and motivated police officer and member of the Kaitaia community.

Senior Constable Jones, who will be accompanied by her husband and fellow police officer Darren Critchley, will use the fellowship to travel to the UK and Stockholm, where she will examine processes used at the International Safe Communities Certification Centre to gain a global perspective of safety issues.

She will also go to Geneva to observe and work alongside delegates from the WHO, at the United Nations, in the field of community safety/injury and violence prevention.

Overwhelming

Inspector McLellan will also take the opportunity to work with the United Nations, at an international post, in peacekeeping and preventing conflict.

His citation said "overwhelmingly positive" comments had been received from the Independent Police Conduct Authority, victims and complainants regarding his work as a professional conduct manager.

"Chris is always looking to find an appropriate resolution for complainants," it added.
"He goes about his work with enthusiasm and a clear desire to help others, whether they are work colleagues or members of the public," it added.

Leader of the Northland District's Ethics Committee, tactical communications and Bay of Islands Maritime deployment, he was also a very active police liaison with the Bald Angels Charitable Trust.