Police association front page news https://policeassn.org.nz/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:01:18 +1300 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:01:18 +1300 Police Association gives conditional support to drug initiatives https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/media-releases/police-association-gives-conditional-support-drug-initiatives The Police Association supports the government’s move to go after the manufacturers and suppliers of lethal synthetic drugs. Association President Chris Cahill says he is pleased to see a commitment to classification of two synthetic drugs as Class A, and the intention to create a temporary drug classification, C1, so new drugs can easily be brought under the Misuse of Drugs Act. “The coroner’s report that 45 people had been killed by synthetic drugs in the year to June 2018 was a staggering wake-up for New Zealand, and the government has clearly taken note,” Mr Cahill said. “No other illicit drug has killed so many people in such a short time in New Zealand’s history, so something concrete has to be done to crack down on suppliers and manufacturers. “Given the manufacturers are able to change the compounds rapidly, the new C1 classification will allow law enforcement to keep pace with this ever-changing and deadly drug. The Class A classification for compounds 5F-ADB and AMB-FUBINACA will mean Police will have emergency powers to use electronic surveillance during synthetic drug investigations,” he said. The association supports a greater focus on treatment of drug addiction rather than prosecution. However, there is concern about some aspects of the government announcement. “It has an air of drug reform on the fly, rather than a more considered debate and informed legislation.  I am worried that by codifying Police discretion the government is potentially asking officers to be the spearhead of decriminalisation.  If decriminalisation is what parliament wants, then that’s what the law should say,” Mr Cahill said. Police officers already use discretion and follow very clear guidelines to determine whether a prosecution is appropriate for the particular person and whether a prosecution would be in the public interest. “This is often a difficult decision, taking into account factors about the offender, the offence and the victim.  Evidence of discretion-in-action is apparent in research from Massey University’s Dr Chris Wilkins which notes that apprehensions for cannabis use have declined by 70 per cent between 1994 and 2014, and about half of all arrests now result in warnings only,” Mr Cahill said. “Now the government wants officers to apply that discretion when it comes to drug users who are suffering from addiction or mental health problems so, instead of going to court, they can undergo addiction treatment.  However, we know the treatment facilities are just not available. “Only this week, a Christchurch judge said she had no option but to send an offender to prison because of the underfunding of mental health and drug and alcohol assessments,” Mr Cahill said. “Police officers are already shouldering too much of the burden when it comes to caring for people who need professional help for mental health issues and drug and alcohol addictions.  For this new initiative to be more than lip service to drug reform, the rehabilitative services that ministers Clark and Nash refer to need to be in place before this law comes into force,” he said.  Media Releases Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:01:18 +1200 Police association front page news Police News December 2018 https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/police-news/police-news-december-2018 In this issue: Scene of crime officers - the backroom heroes of crime resolution; call for action on lasers; advice on death benefits; and one cop's journey to reclaiming the PCT after a stroke. Plus, a handy, pull-out guide to the important implementation dates for the pay and conditions negotiated in the 2018 pay round. Read articles: President's Column: Wins of 2018 Scene of crime officers: The evidence collectors True to form: Cautionary life benefit nomination form tales Save the dates: Important collective dates for your 2019 calendar Winning over a tough crowd: Graeme McKay retires Police News (Magazine) Fri, 07 Dec 2018 14:59:19 +1200 Police association front page news President's Column: Wins of 2018 https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/presidents-column/presidents-column-wins-2018 As we come to the end of the year, it is good to reflect on some of the “wins” of 2018. These include a solid pay round, a confirmed Government commitment to extra staff, nearly 1000 new recruits through the college so far, an annual conference recognised for tackling the issue of legalising cannabis, the establishment of the Diversity Governance Group and a noticeable increase in women delegates to the conference. Every one of these is the result of committed team effort by our members, field officers, board and national office. Key for 2019 will be maintaining a close watch on how recruitment versus attrition plays out. We must ensure that our experienced members are valued and stay in the job, and that recruitment standards are not downgraded. We also want the Government to stick to its promise to deliver 1800 extra police and 485 Police employees over three years. We need to listen to members who are doing it hard in Auckland and other high-cost areas, and come up with ways the association may be able to ease these pressures. We will continue to highlight the threat to police and the public from illegal firearms in the community. We also need to do some serious work to ensure we are a strong voice in the debate preceding the 2020 referendum on legalisation of cannabis for personal use. Conference 2018 kicked off that journey for the association. Our next step is to dig down into the specific implications for policing should New Zealanders – including our members – vote “Yes”. We should soon know how the Government plans to run the referendum and it is our duty to educate ourselves on the pros and the cons as best we can. Early in the new year, we will have the interim report on the IPCA/Police review of the fleeing driver policy. This year has been a shocking one on our roads, including an escalating number of fleeing driver incidents and deaths. This policy needs to be sorted out and we look forward to being consulted. Bizarrely, we finish 2018 with, literally, a bolt from the blue, with no more blue uniforms wanted at the Auckland Pride Parade. I am sure this caught many of you by surprise given our journey from being forbidden by the Police hierarchy from marching in uniform, to marching in Police Association T-shirts, to 2015 when we finally marched in uniform and, this year, Police launching its rainbow police car. Police should be acknowledged for the pace at which it has moved in this arena. That progress has been recognised by, among others, parade sponsors, the defence forces and longtime LGBTQI advocate Georgina Beyer. She likened the proposed ban to asking our officers who want to march proudly in their police uniforms, to just pop back in the closet. To me, the exclusion of police in uniform is short sighted and detrimental to those in the pride community who understand the power of inclusiveness. I would like to thank you all for your commitment to the association, for your input into debate and feedback on the myriad issues we deal with at any one time. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones over the Christmas period, and thank you to those of you who will be working through to ensure New Zealanders stay safe. President's Columns Fri, 07 Dec 2018 15:06:14 +1200 Police association front page news The evidence collectors https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/evidence-collectors New Zealand’s scene of crime officers are the backroom heroes of crime resolution. Ellen Brook reports. Cars can’t talk, but they can tell a story if you pay attention to the right details, says senior scene of crime officer Colin Melville. We are at a secret location in central Auckland where the Police tow operator takes recovered vehicles to be scrutinised by the scene of crime officers (SOCOs). Today, Colin is examining a stolen Honda used the night before in the burglary of a liquor store. Somewhere, the owner will be missing their slightly battered white wagon with a pile of clothes in the boot and a child’s car seat in the front. Colin points out the signs of forced entry on the doors and the dismantled ignition. His main focus, however, is on much smaller and less obvious aspects. SOCOs follow the forensics mantra of Locard’s exchange principle that “every contact leaves a trace”. Or, as Colin puts it, “Let’s see if we can outsmart these buggers!” With his expert eye – honed after 13 years in the job and the benefit of several high-level qualifications – he applies a fine layer of fingerprint powder to the car with a small brush. His SOCO toolkit also contains gloves and masks, a torch, a magnifying glass and, importantly, a rag to clean up. It takes about 45 minutes to dust the car for prints. “You have to follow the process. There are no shortcuts and you have only one chance to do it right.” If he finds a good print, which he did on the white Honda, it’s preserved on an acetate backing sheet, labelled and sent to the fingerprint lab. There, it is enlarged on a computer screen and, hopefully, may register a hit in the database. Colin’s fastidious attention to detail has already produced 170 “idents” in the past year – “the highest in the office!” Being “part of the solution” gives Colin a buzz. It feels good to have outsmarted a criminal, he says. “And to know that if it was not for the work we do, a criminal might not have been caught.” At a crime scene, the SOCOs have to, figuratively, put themselves in the offender’s shoes, imagining a scenario about where the person might have moved and what they might have touched, reconstructing the events and establishing, for example, the orientation of the fingerprints – was the person coming in or out the room? More often than not, there will be a link between a victim, an offender and a location. Colin’s next job is at a commercial premises in Mt Wellington, burgled for the second time in two weeks, obviously with the same MO, but this time, rather dangerously, pulling out the wiring in a circuit box to cut the alarm. The frustrated owner is glad to see Colin – again. “When we get to a crime scene, people are usually really pleased to see us,” says Colin. “They know we’re there to help.” It looks like the intruders in this case were pretty careful. As Colin notes, many crims are “forensically aware” and will wear gloves and be careful about what they leave behind. But, maybe not careful enough… Colin eventually spots a print on the circuit box, invisible to anyone else. Bingo! That’s another one off to the lab. His work days, and those of the other SOCOs, are taken up with visiting crime scenes throughout Auckland City. Colin previously worked for the Fire Service, so, naturally enough, arson is a specialist area for him, but he does his fair share of the armed hold-ups, stabbings, sexual assaults and fatal car accidents that appear in the in-tray each day. “The people we deal with are all victims of crime and all deserve the same level of service.” He recalls one of the bloodiest scenes of his career. Two stabbings at a retirement village, in two separate scenes. “It was a bloodbath and I spent 11 hours there, all the time trying to avoid cross-contamination.” Another bloody scene was a robbery at a Grey Lynn superette where the victim had been repeatedly stabbed in the chest. “There was blood everywhere, but also a blood trail leading away from the scene, which police were able to follow and ultimately arrest the suspect.”   Not for the squeamish Blood, bones, bodily fluids and the other minutiae of life and death are the stock in trade of the SOCO team. It’s not a job for the squeamish, but it seems it may be a job for women. The Auckland City SOCO team of 25, based in Newmarket, is the biggest in the country and made up almost entirely of Police employees (only two members are sworn), 14 of whom are women, including forensics manager Andrea Scott. There are 67 SOCOs Auckland-wide and about 120 nationally. Around the year 2000, to help cover a high volume of burglary callouts, Police created the non-sworn role of crime scene assistant (CSA) within the Auckland City team. The CSAs had the same basic training as the SOCOs and were involved in the same work, apart from serious crime scenes. When Andrea joined in 2011 as manager, she spotted a problem straight away. “It was almost impossible for a CSA to progress to being a SOCO. There was a glass ceiling in the way. It was perceived as a job for sworn staff, even though SOCOs and CSAs were working together at crime scenes, and there was very low turnover in the SOCO roles. There were only four full SOCOs and everyone else was a CSA with no incentive for progression.” By 2013, Andrea had managed to get the district commander and the Police College to agree to replace the CSA designation with an assistant SOCO role. Since the career path has improved, more women have moved into the role. Only half-joking, Andrea says it’s because they are “naturally nosey”, but also like attention to detail and collecting evidence. “This job is about observation, method and common sense.” One of the team, forensic supervisor Rachel Nickerson, is a former teacher who has a master’s degree in forensic science. “I got bored with teaching and wanted a bit more excitement in my career.” Many other staff have backgrounds in chemistry, anthropology and forensic science. There are advantages to having nonsworn members in the squad, Andrea says. “They have a dedicated role doing forensic examinations, unlike their sworn colleagues who may be required to do other policing duties.” Burglary and volume crime make up the bulk of the workload and it’s there that the eye for detail is so important – the subtle clues left by footwear or glove marks, for example. Then, taking a methodical approach to interpreting what they see to determine what they think has happened. They also look at fibres, glass, paint and pollen, if necessary. “We make an informed decision about what we need to collect based on what we’re trying to prove,” Andrea says. For example, in a domestic assault, fingerprints at the scene where all the parties reside aren’t necessarily going to prove a case unless they are on a weapon used in that assault. As SOCOs in New Zealand continue to upskill, Andrea says she is keen to forge even stronger connections between police and scientific experts in criminal investigations, particularly in the development of forensic archaeology and anthropology.   World-class expertise Andrea Scott’s role as forensics manager generally keeps her in the office, but she brings to the job world-class, hands-on expertise as a forensic archaeologist. In fact, she’s the go-to person in New Zealand if you come across skeletons or bones of unknown origin. Originally trained as an archaeologist, Andrea, who is English, spent 13 years working on sites from Hadrian’s Wall to large excavations in Britain and Egypt. Her interest in forensics arose after doing a watching brief at a disused churchyard where skulls and a Victorian vault had been discovered and she was able to confirm that the human remains were historic. “SOCOs had been called to the scene, which is common when bodies are uncovered. There are similarities between archaeology and forensics – methodically sifting through the physical evidence in front of you to determine what has happened. Only the timeframe is different – one is a few hours versus several centuries.” After completing an archaeological forensics course, Andrea began working for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as a crime scene investigator. After 10 years, she became a crime scene manager, coordinating the forensic examinations of various complex operations, large-scale drug warrants, counter-terrorist searches and more than 25 homicide scenes. One of the cases she worked on was the 40-year-old mystery of the woman in the carpet. In 2010, a digger excavating a car park in preparation for building work unearthed a skeleton and remnants of clothing. The digger had scattered the bones, but by combining her archaeological and forensic skills, Andrea was able to determine the cause of death, which turned out to be murder, and the timeframe (late 1970s, early 1980s) based on fragments found with the body – scraps of carpet and clothing, a pair of stiletto shoes and a Guinness advertising sign. Forensically, it was a complex case, which, unfortunately, remains open and the young woman’s identity is still unknown. Then there was the case of the woman in the cellar. Andrea found the body almost by accident when she commented that the stone paving tiles in one part of the cellar “didn’t look right”. Sure enough, as soon as they were removed and she started dusting away the dirt, she found something – a foot. The poor woman, who had been reported missing over many years, had been murdered and buried there. Her killer was soon brought to justice as evidence against him accumulated. Andrea was there, too, when GMP worked on what they called their biggest case in a decade – collecting evidence against a Filipino nurse at Greater Manchester Hospital who was convicted of murdering two patients and poisoning 20 others by injecting insulin into patients’ saline fluid drip bags. Above: Andrea Scott does “specialist sampling” at a site where the remains of an unidentified woman were discovered in 2010. Featured Articles Fri, 07 Dec 2018 15:06:36 +1200 Police association front page news Save the dates https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/save-dates Following the ratification of this year’s pay round, Police will begin putting in place the “Terms of Settlement” for both constabulary and Police employee members, which means there will be several “implementation dates” throughout the three-year terms of the agreement, as follows. General wage increases (both collectives) Salaries, superannuation contributions and allowances will all increase by 3% on three separate dates over the first two years of the three-year collectives – a cumulative movement of 9.2%. The first 3% increase will be happen before Christmas and be back-paid for Police Association members to July 1, 2018. The second 3% increase will take effect from July 1, 2019. The final 3% increase will take effect from July 1, 2020. You will continue to receive your annual competency service increment (CSI) movement (or lump sum payment for members at the top of their pay band) on your anniversary date.   Shift incentive (both collectives) Shift incentive rates will move by 20.4% by July 1, 2020, due to two movements of 5% in addition to the three standard movements of 3%. The first additional 5% increase took effect on October 1, 2018, with any back-pay adjustment being paid before Christmas. The second 5% increase will be effective from July 1, 2019.   Standby (both collectives) The standby allowance is also moving by 20.4% from July 1, 2020, with the two additional 5% increases taking effect on March 1, 2019, and July 1, 2019.   Cashing up TOIL (constabulary and police employees in Band G and above) It will be easier to cash up your TOIL. Effective from October 31, 2018, you can choose to take TOIL as TOIL or cash it up. For cashing up, the only criteria is that it must be matched one-to-one with the taking of another leave type. For example, if you book 10 days of annual/shift/PCT/DDO/alternative day leave in four months’ time, you can progressively match up to 10 days of TOIL to the booked leave and be paid out that amount. While Police is updating the existing form and simplifying the administrative processes to comply with the changes, there may be a short delay in Police being able to receive and action TOIL cash-up requests.   TOIL threshold (constabulary collective) From March 1, 2019, the weekly TOIL threshold moves from three hours to two hours. The “week” remains midnight Sunday to midnight Sunday.   15-minute line-up (constabulary collective) Line-up prior to your shift starting is currently classified as overtime and subject to the TOIL rule. Effective from March 1, 2019 (and possibly earlier), all line-up time will be rostered as part of your shift.   Maximum leave accumulation of 45 days (both collectives) A change to the maximum leave entitlement means you will be restricted to a maximum accumulation of 45 days’ leave. The 45 days include the total of all leave types except long service leave. The calculation of 45 days also moves away from your anniversary date to any day of the year. In MyPolice, future booked leave comes off your leave balance today – so, if you find yourself over the 45-day maximum, all you need to do is book some leave and your balance will adjust accordingly. Members with high leave balances have until February 1, 2020, to get that down to 45 days or less. If you find yourself over the 45-day maximum, none of your leave will be forfeited, but Police can and will actively manage your leave planning.   Cashing up a fifth week of annual leave (both collectives) When you have completed five years’ service (including any previously recognised service), you begin accruing a fifth week of annual leave each year. At the completion of your fifth year of service, you will have the option of cashing up one whole week of annual leave. You can do that at any time during your service year and every year thereafter. Although this cash-up option is effective immediately, there may be a small delay in Police being able to receive and action cash-up requests as this will require new administrative processes to be finalised.   Cost of Living Working Party This important working party will begin its deliberations in the first quarter of 2019, reporting back within six months. Planning has already started in relation to the composition of the working party.   PBS Working Party An amendment to the collective allows for an “hours of work” clause outside of preference-based scheduling (PBS), by agreement between the parties. This clause has been applied to Kapiti CRL staff. A joint association/Police working party has been tasked with reviewing PBS, looking at options and recommending two rostering systems.   Parental leave and CSIs (both collectives) In any CSI year, you must have four months of “active service” to be eligible for a CSI and, previously, parental leave was not deemed “active service”. Now, all parental leave taken will be considered “active service” for CSI purposes. This will also apply to members who have returned to work since July 1, 2018.   Parental leave entitlement (both collectives) For members having second or subsequent periods of parental leave, your total Police service will be included in the calculation of your next period of parental leave – not just your service since you returned from your last period of parental leave. Consequently, if your combined service, excluding parental leave, is more than 12 months you will be entitled to 12 months’ parental leave, even if you have been back at work for less than 12 months between periods of parental leave. For further information, see the Police Association’s Parental Leave Pack on our website.   Flexible Employment Options (FEO) (both collectives) Effective immediately, all FEO requests will be considered granted by default. Only a district commander or national manager can decline an FEO application.   PSS first home withdrawal The effective date of a Police Super Scheme first home withdrawal option could be as early as the first quarter of 2019, or soon thereafter. The PSS directors are working through all the necessary trust deed and administrative changes. The PSS first home withdrawal provisions are intended to, generally, replicate the KiwiSaver first home rules.   Life insurance The Police Association is liaising with Police in a due diligence process on a proposed increase to the constabulary life insurance benefit structure. Higher benefits will apply once that process is complete and when members/police have commenced paying the increased premiums. At this stage, we expect that to be during the first quarter of 2019.   Streamlined collective agreements Both Police and the association have been working on condensing and clarifying the CEAs into Streamlined Collective Agreements. The intent is not to reduce or enhance any of the provisions, but to simplify the wording and provide clarity around interpretation of the documents. There may be instances where changes have had unintended consequences, and in such cases members should contact the association or Police HR for resolution. Featured Articles Fri, 07 Dec 2018 12:19:12 +1200 Police association front page news True to form https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/true-form Is your benefit nomination form up to date? Check now, because it’s too late when you’re no  longer with us, and there is up to $250,000 at stake. Nobody loves filling out forms, but when it comes to matters of life and death, those documents can be vitally important – and here’s why. When Police staff join the Police Association and sign up to the Police Welfare Fund, they have the option of filling out a Police Group Life Insurance Benefit Nomination Form. The form is important because it fulfils requirements related to either your death or the death of your spouse or partner, and, in either of those events, who will receive money from the fund. The payouts vary, up to a maximum of $250,000, depending on employment status and age. Under the “Life Benefit” portion of the form, you can name one or more people who will receive a payout if you die. Under the “Partner Life Benefit” portion of the form (constabulary only), if your partner dies, you will receive a payout. Simple enough? Well, the thing is, people’s lives and relationships can change, sometimes quite dramatically, and if you don’t keep your benefit nominations up to date, the outcomes may not be what you would have wanted. Police Welfare Fund manager Pete Hayes has a few cautionary tales about how things can go horribly wrong, and some good news. For example, consider the case of the single man who nominated his good friend and neighbour as the person who should receive his “death benefit”. They were the best of mates, but, as time went on, they had a serious falling out. So, serious, in fact, that when the member died, the neighbour didn’t attend the funeral. But, because the member had not updated his nomination form, the neighbour received a significant payout. Wouldn’t that make you squirm in your grave? Another single member had been raised by a solo mother, with no contact with his father. Sadly, the member died young, killed in a vehicle accident. Because he had failed to fill out his benefit nomination form at all and had no will, the benefit money went to his estate and the absent father was able to claim half of the money. It’s quite likely that is not what the son would have wanted. The vagaries of personal relationships are a minefield when it comes to payouts. As Pete says, oversights can result in unfairness, particularly when it comes to the needs of children. A man left his wife and three children and entered into a new relationship. He updated his benefit nomination form to include his new partner. As it turned out, the relationship did not last and he reconciled with his wife. When he died not long afterwards, it transpired that he had not changed back his form. Not a good result for the family. Or, what about this case of a member who died in an accident. At the time, he was in a relatively new relationship and had fallen out with his parents over the new partner. His benefit nomination form had been made out to his parents, who duly received the payout. As it turned out, the rift was so bad, the parents didn’t even attend their son’s funeral. Outside of such complications, Pete says, the payouts can be a blessing to grieving families. If the forms are filled out correctly, the money is outside the auspices of the estate, so there can be no claims from other parties or delays due to probate. “We also pay out $10,000 of the money immediately to the spouse or partner, or other nominated person, within 24 hours. That helps with funeral costs or, for example, flying in family from other places.” And, to clarify, for the purposes of the Partner Life Benefit, a partner or spouse is defined as someone who is “perceived by your peers” to be in a relationship with you. So, that could be your significant other who lives in another house. As long as your friends see you as a couple, that’s kosher. The Welfare Fund team deals with benefit nomination form changes from members daily. So, don’t delay. If your circumstances have changed, make sure your form is up to date. Visit the Life Insurances section of our website, or contact our Member Services Centre, 0800 500 122. The same rules apply to your will and for advice on that, see the Estate Planning section of the website. For details of the life benefit payment that applies to you, visit the Insurances section of the website. Featured Articles Fri, 07 Dec 2018 11:58:35 +1200 Police association front page news Winning over a tough crowd https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/publications/featured-articles/winning-over-tough-crowd As Waikato/Bay of Plenty field officer Graeme McKay retires this month, he reflects on his decade of service and the virtues of “common sense”. Luke Shadbolt, a former Police Association vice-president, recalls that when Graeme McKay became a field officer in 2008, there were a few rumblings from members about him not having a police background. Graeme’s working life had been in hospitality, running hotels and working for the Hospitality Association. His only contact with policing was through a good friend who was a former officer and dealing with Police over the granting of liquor licences for various venues. “But,” says Luke, who was also a Region 2 director, “in a very short space of time, everyone was impressed with how Graeme advanced employment relationships and how well he understood the newly introduced Code of Conduct rules.” Graeme, who is retiring at the end of the year, says he was expecting police to be a tough crowd to win over, but his first “strong impression” was the level of trust police had in field officers in terms of allowing them into their workplaces. When he visits police stations, it’s access to all areas. “People know me and talk to me. It’s great to have that level of status for the job and the connection with the staff.” Graeme notes that when he started in the job, there was minimal training for the field officers. He was covering a huge area on his own too – Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne – though the southeast has since been taken on by Kerry Ansell. There was no prep at all when, in his third week on the job, there was a suicide in the cells at Rotorua Police Station. “It was very traumatic for all the police who were there at the time,” he recalls. Another significant incident was the Napier siege in 2009. “It was an eye-opener being on the sidelines as the situation unfolded.” As their colleague, Len Snee, lay dead on the street, it was Graeme’s job was to make sure that staff were getting the support they needed. “Welfare was the top priority, ensuring the proper rotation of AOS, connecting with families, checking with staff on cordons and making sure people were getting the right counselling.” Last year, Graeme had to deal with four police shootings in six months. Such critical incidents are time-consuming, emotional and energy sapping, and the field officers see and hear some horrific stuff, including all the disclosure files. The field officer’s role is to meet with affected members and remain calm, “not get too caught up in it myself”, he says. “Police has got better at dealing with these incidents, mainly because they have seen the work the association has done. “A lot of what we do is just common sense,” he says. Challenges do come with the territory, however. “I always wonder what will happen today, and something always does.” It’s certainly not difficult to fall foul of Police policy, he says, with cases of fleeing drivers being a good example. “Police has a very detailed policy, but it’s very difficult to match the policy to reality when you’re in the middle of trying to stop a fleeing driver.” Field officers get to see every possible outcome of the employee-employer relationship. And it’s not always the bosses who are the problem. “It can be difficult dealing with the belligerent attitude of a small number of members who don’t think they haven done anything wrong and blame the employer for everything.” His approach to workplace issues has always been to consider them from the view of what any employee or employer might do and what is reasonable and fair. The key, he says, is to try to discuss matters as part of an employment relationship, not as part of the Police structure. “Police officers’ day jobs might be involved with investigations, but investigating a crime is very different from looking into an employment matter.” Policing is very complex, and that means that representing members is complex too, he says. “One thing I always tell members is this: If you tell me bullshit, you will be found out. Police have a habit of finding out things and it will be worse for you if you didn’t tell the truth in the first place. “I apply the same principles across the board. I just hope that people appreciate the effort I put in. I always want the best outcome.” One aspect of the job that is particular to the field officer’s role is working from the home office. Over the past 10 years, Graeme has realised there are a few fishhooks if you don’t watch your own work practices. “You’ve got to manage your time and your commitments carefully, or you can end up doing too much work. If you’ve just spent a lot of time dealing with someone who has been through a critical incident, you shouldn’t rush home and start trying to fit in lots of other work. It’s important to take some downtime. In those situations, I mow the lawns.” Now that he’s on the verge of retirement, he’s wondering how he’ll fill his days – there’s only so much lawn to keep tidy at Lake Okareka, near Rotorua, where he lives with his wife, Rochelle. “What will I do with no office, no phones, no emails to check?” He’s not sure, but he does enjoy golf, fishing, travelling and gardening and has volunteered for the local Citizens Advice Bureau, which will be lucky to have the benefit of his common sense approach to complex issues. – ELLEN BROOK Featured Articles Fri, 07 Dec 2018 14:45:00 +1200 Police association front page news Holiday Homes - trouble booking or paying? https://policeassn.org.nz/newsroom/events/holiday-homes-trouble-booking-or-paying Please clear your browser cache. If you need any help with this, contact our Member Services team on 0800 500 122 or email: enquiries@policeassn.org.nz. Tue, 01 May 2018 16:03:57 +1200 Police association front page news