Patrol car 'loud and proud' for safe streets

By alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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NEW CAR: Masterton Community Patrol members, police and sponsors gather to celebrate the handover of the keys to the new Community Patrol car.PHOTOS/ALISA YONG
NEW CAR: Masterton Community Patrol members, police and sponsors gather to celebrate the handover of the keys to the new Community Patrol car.PHOTOS/ALISA YONG

The Masterton Community Patrol will now be "loud and proud" as they work to make the streets safer.

Yesterday the group received the keys to their first-ever designated patrol car, proudly emblazoned with the group's logo.

The group of volunteers has been working towards this moment since 2009, when fundraising first began.

Patrol co-ordinator Cheryl Watson said raising the necessary funds had been a community effort, with Kiwi Magic offering a discounted car, AMI providing free insurance, Select Signs offering free sign-writing, More FM giving a year-long media campaign, Masterton District Council providing community board funding, and the Lotto-winning families of Siobhan Logan and Fiona Wilton also pitching in.

"It was a great feeling to finally achieve what we've been aiming to do for a long time," Mrs Watson said.

It was hoped the car would increase the group's profile and attract new volunteers as well as help deter criminals, she said.

"We want to increase awareness within the community that we exist. We want to patrol as loud and proud as opposed to covert like we used to, and we are hoping that with an increased presence in the community we will get an increase in numbers.

"Being loud and proud is about if people know we are out and about they will be less likely to do something."

The volunteers drive as far as 80km a night while on patrol, and had in the past been using their own vehicles.

Ross Eggers of Kiwi Magic said he was happy to support the organisation. "They are doing good work for the community for the safety of you and me and everybody else."

Mr Eggers said he would also donate three free fill-ups to the group.

The group is continuing its fundraising efforts for cars for Carterton, Martinborough and Featherston.

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