Thanks to sponsorship for a new car, Te Puke Community Patrol can find another use for the money in its piggy bank.
The group, that provides additional sets of eyes for local police, has a new vehicle paid for by sponsors found by Graham Malaquin and Bruce Dalgety.
''The branch had a car replacement fund which will now be transferred to our ongoing costs, with fuel being our main outgoing, especially now due to increasing fuel costs,'' says local co-ordinator Gig Green.
The previous two cars used by patrollers have been provided by the Tauranga Energy Community Trust, with the latest car paid for thanks to individuals and businesses, predominantly from the kiwifruit sector.
The Community Patrol volunteers work alongside police and patrol urban and rural areas.
''Police are hugely supportive of our branch at all times and keep us informed of trouble spots,'' says Gig. ''We get suggestions from police about where to go or where they need extra support.''
The new car also had a donated police radio installed to help with communication and adding an extra level of security for patrollers.
''This means we can be contacted by the police who may ask the patrollers to help in some way,'' says secretary Jan Wad. ''Or our patrollers can contact the police to let them know if an offence being committed.''
The local group was started 25 years ago.
''We patrol night and day when numbers allow, but we need many more volunteers to help keep our area safe and crime-free,'' says Gig.
Patrollers are volunteers who undergo some training and police vetting.
Most volunteers do one shift a month, but can do more if they want.
As well as patrols, the group is involved in installing tamper-proof screws on number plates to prevent them being removed and potentially attached to another vehicle.
While special events to install the screws have not been possible during the pandemic, people can contact the group to ask for screws to be fitted to their cars.
Anyone wanting to contact the branch can either use email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0274 306 383.