Husband and wife win Rotorua police award

The Rotorua police annual pay parade threw up a few surprises this year with the award of police person of the year given to husband and wife team Sergeant Steve and Senior Constable Viv Sutton.

The ceremony was in a packed Rotorua District Council chamber in front of police staff, family and friends.

Acknowledging the work of the Rotorua police were Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters, Bay of Plenty police district commander Glenn Dunbier and Rotorua police area commander Inspector Bruce Horne.

"I've found police staff to be, by and large, a very resilient bunch of people who are able to turn up and deal with extraordinary events every day, sometimes many times a day, and have come to see this as just being part of the job.

"Dealing with violence and abuse, carnage, drunkenness, distress, anger and loss regularly. It's something not very many other professional people have to do," Mr Dunbier said.

The award for police person of the year was at the end of the ceremony. However, the winning couple were on holiday in Sydney celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.

The award is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Rotorua.

Mayor Kevin Winters explained the council had set up a live video conference so they could speak to the audience but a power cut in the suburb they were staying in foiled their attempts.

Instead, the award was accepted by Mrs Sutton's mother Berthine Rushby and the couple's sons Joel, 8, and Blair, 5.

A special service ribbon was awarded to 21 police staff, both sworn and non-sworn, who helped during last year's Christchurch earthquake.

Traditional black berets were awarded to four members of the police armed offenders squad.

Rotorua police awards

Promotion certificates were handed out to a number of police officers who, in the past few years, had achieved promotions.

Awards for 28 years of police service were made to Detective John Hope and Detective Inspector Mark Loper and for 14 years of service to Sergeant Jason Owen.

Detective Mihi Owen also received the district commander's citation for her work in securing the convictions of Pelesasa Tiumalu and his wife Elina.

Tiumalu was convicted for having underage sex with 15-year-old Hayley-Ann Fenton, who killed herself after receiving text messages from Elina Tiumalu after she found out her husband was having an affair.

Police medical officer Dr Tom Brons was awarded a ceremonial baton for his 10 years' service to Rotorua police.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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