Honesty has its own reward

By Zac Yates

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A good deed on the way to the skate park paid off for an aspiring police officer.

Matthew Marsh, who is a Year 8 pupil at St Mary's School, was walking to Kowhai Park in January when he found a wallet on the footpath.

"I was walking along Bell St, taking a shortcut to get to the bowl, and I found it on the ground. I looked inside for some ID, but I couldn't find any, so I took it straight to the police station."

Police found $500 in cash in the wallet and commended Matthew for his honesty in handing it in, something he said some kids his age wouldn't have done.

"I told the guys at the bowl about it, and they said, 'Why did you hand it in?', and I said, 'I'm not like you guys; I don't steal'," he said.

As reward for his honesty, Matthew was treated to a day out with a dog handling unit yesterday.

After he was picked up in a police vehicle by Senior Constable Jason Page and his German shepherd Farris, Matthew was put through all the same training a dog handling officer would receive, including obedience, article searching and tracking.

Mr Page said he even had to crawl under blackberry bushes as part of the training.

At one point, Matthew had to try and hide from Farris and fellow police pooch Bax, which he said was a real highlight of the day.

"We were at Jubilee Hospital and I had to hide in some cupboards, and it was really cool when they found me."

Matthew said he was keen to enter the police force, and his experience with Mr Page had made him even more enthusiastic.

"...I definitely think I'd like to be a dog handler."

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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