Rotorua's City Guardians are more than walking tourist information sites - they have been credited by police for helping arrest a robbery suspect as well as preventing crime from happening in the CBD.
Acting area commander Inspector Tim Anderson said the four Rotorua District Council-funded City Guardians were extra sets of "eyes and ears" for police.
"They've been pretty active around the CCTV, spotting problems and issues that may be on the horizon and either they attend or they will call police," Mr Anderson said.
He singled out Pete Mumby for his work.
"There was a robbery on Eruera St and through Pete's diligence we have been able to track down this offender using CCTV footage. We've been able to apprehend this offender within a day and provide the evidence. That kind of crime is thankfully few and far between, mainly due to their work. They are extra eyes and ears."
The City Guardians were established by the council in 2011 after more than 300 businesses signed a petition asking the council to part-fund the group, saying they were sick of anti-social behaviour, crime and intimidation on the city's streets.
Mr Mumby has been employed as a guardian for three years and was previously employed in forestry security.
"I wanted to make a difference," he said. "I enjoy working with the team and our interactions with the public are fantastic. There are a lot of good people in Rotorua."
He said they use their discretion to deal with incidents and call 111 if it is something beyond their means.
"We do get a lot of angry people on the street but it's a matter of talking to them and trying to calm them down. We're in the city for everyone. It's a team effort."
The other City Guardians are Gina Marsh, Helen Coombes and Jenna Samuel.