In 2013 Senior Constable Terry Moore approached Errol and myself to see if we would be interested in helping to revive the Ōtaki Community Patrol. Although the Patrol had been running for many years the previous group was ready to hand over the reins to a new generation of patrollers. Would we be interested in working with the Police, being their ‘eyes and ears’ to help make the community safer? Of course we would!
Supported by representatives from the national organisation Community Patrols of New Zealand, Warwick Laws, the Central District representative and Dave Ross, now the National Operations Manager, we called a public meeting. From memory around 20 people attended and soon we had a group of enthusiastic new volunteers to go out on patrol. Fortunately the previous group had been very skilled at fundraising there was enough money left in the kitty to buy a second-hand patrol car along with other equipment necessary to promote a professional image and operation. But there’s one thing that money can’t buy and that’s the secret ingredient that makes every volunteer organisation spark: people skills.
Constable Terry Moore as the Police Liaison Officer for the Patrol supported and guided us right from the beginning — his people skills were unparalleled. I remember him picking us up at some ungodly hour to drive us up to New Plymouth so we could attend patrol training. He then drove us back again after the course finished at 4pm. We staggered in and veged out on the couch after our long day. Constable Terry went to work his normal 10 hour shift. That sense of dedication never wavered and inspired us to keep things going when he was posted overseas for a year.
On his return the Patrol had managed to raise additional funds for a new and improved patrol car and with the help of many businesses, organisations, the community board and generous individuals the car was finally ready to go on its first patrol after being blessed by local kaumatua Ricky Baker.
I mention the blessing because it was the last patrol event Constable Terry was able to attend. His career was taking him in another direction and on 14 November he left Ōtaki for a 12 month stint as the local (and only) police officer on Pitcairn Island.
We will miss him and wish him well, and will never forget his quiet confidence and positive attitude to challenges, and his tact and generosity in dealing with all kinds of people. He has left big shoes to fill, but we look forward to working with our new Police Liaison Officer, whoever that may be.