Whanganui Community Constable Keith Butters is well respected and highly regarded by the Neighbourhood Support group in Whanganui East.

The group is so proud of Mr Butters it entered him in the national Neighbourhood Support Police Officer Above and Beyond Award.

Yesterday at the community police centre in Whanganui East a group of more than 30 people gathered to celebrate seeing Mr Butters receive his highly commended award, one of three police officers in New Zealand in the Above and Beyond awards.

Mr Butters was visibly overcome because his win had been kept very quiet.

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Whanganui Police Acting Area Commander Neil Forlong said Mr Butters was an excellent community police officer and a great person.

"I'm very proud of him and he more than deserves this award. He is a fine person to have with us here in Whanganui."

Central District Neighbourhood Support spokeswoman Sharron Callaghan said Mr Butters had been an invaluable support.

"He came to every meeting, never missed one. His integrity and professionalism are amazing.

"He is an outstanding man and more than deserves this award."

The award is for police officers who have given outstanding service to Neighbourhood Support, a significant difference to their communities and who have gone above and beyond their role.