It's now 10 years since the Waipukurau Community Patrol took to CHB's darkened streets, and the patrol's volunteers have been acting as extra sets of eyes and ears for CHB's police force ever since.
In that time the patrol has clocked up 4500 volunteer hours and 26,000km, mostly during weekends but also for community events such as the CHB A&P Show, The Festival and the CHB Sports Awards where, while hundreds of people were inside the AW Parsons Stadium wining and dining, patrol members were out in the carpark keeping an eye on vehicles.
The patrol also covers Waipawa and is fully affiliated to Community Patrols of New Zealand (CPNZ).
Along the way it has gained sponsors:
Ruahine Motors provides the patrol with a car, car maintenance, warrants of fitness and vehicle registration, Aon Insurance provides full insurance cover for the patrol vehicle and Jewellery House and Cars CHB help with fuel costs.
Four patrollers have clocked up 10 years' service and most of the rest have served for more than six years. So to mark the 10th anniversary of the Waipukurau Community Patrol, certificates and badges recognising their length of service were awarded at a meeting attended by CHB Mayor Alex Walker and CHB Police officer in charge Mel Humphries.
Mayor Walker thanked patrol members for what they do in the communities.
"As a business owner myself I have been grateful for the occasional phone call to let me know a window was open. The community patrol is a friendly, personal and powerful service to the CHB community."
The patrollers are police-vetted and undertake training modules administered by CPNZ, to ensure they are fit for the duties and situations that may arise.
Their role is to be an extension of the police's eyes and ears in the community, contributing to crime prevention, and alerting police when they encounter suspicious vehicles or activity.
Over the past 10 years this has included alerting key holders and police to unsecured premises including school checks and identifying property damage, alerting police to drivers under the influence, taggers, anti-social behaviour, searching for missing people, conducting static patrols in areas after burglaries, responding to alarm activations, supporting community events and checking businesses, yards and equipment.
The patrol is always looking for new members to increase its presence in the community. Due to a recent change in membership requirements it can now recruit Year 12 and 13 students who may be considering a career with police.
"It seems like it's been a short 10 years," said long-time patrol member Lloyd Lawrence.
"There's been a lot going on and time has flown. Our volunteers have been out at all hours of the night in all sorts of weather but it's been a great 10 years and I have thoroughly enjoyed them."
Long-service and merit certificate recipients:
Cliff Jamieson (absent)
Maria Lincoln (absent)