Sweet ride for community patrollers

Tauranga South Community Patrol is presented with a new patrol car. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford

A new fit-for-purpose community patrol car with all the bells and whistles has been coasting through the alleys and roads around Tauranga South this last month thanks to a great deal of fundraising and sponsorship.

The Tauranga South Community Patrol celebrated the arrival of its new 2020 MG ZS Excite patrol car with representatives from Tauranga City Council, TECT and Farmer MG at a morning tea at the Tauranga South Police station.

“We fundraise through running the Greerton Carboot Sale and support the Tauranga Farmers Market,” says Tauranga South Community Patrol chairperson Maureen Kathan. “The support from businesses in the community and the Tauranga City Council is crucial to our operations.”

TECT approved $10,000 towards the purchase of the vehicle.

“This is the first community patrol vehicle we’ve funded,” says TECT’s grants administrator Janette Voss.

“We’ve helped them in the past with running costs.

“It’s good to see that community patrol are really taken seriously. They’re making a difference and that’s the whole point of TECT funding – to make a positive difference in our community.

“When you see something like this patrol vehicle which highlights safety in our community - this is where we are very honoured to be approached to fund an organisation like this,” says Janette.

The presentation was also attended by Tauranga City Council’s emergency management senior advisor Alana Rapson, and the council’s community development team manager Paul Mason.

“Tauranga City Council provides operational funding to the five Tauranga community patrols,” says Alana. “That was approved for a 10-year period through the Long Term Plan. We also support community patrols through the safer communities’ programme which is run through our Community Development team.

“We try and support anything that’s got community resilience, community wellbeing and community safety within that, because it is of huge benefit to Tauranga residents and ratepayers.”

The vehicle, which cost $22990 plus on-road costs, was provided by Farmer MG, part of the Farmer AutoVillage group, and is the second community patrol car they’ve set up, following Omokoroa’s patrol car last year.

“One of the big benefits, especially for this group, is five years’ warranty, unlimited kilometres and five year roadside assistance,” says Farmer MG sales specialist Blair Brookbanks. “And that’s for everybody – the public when they’re buying vehicles – they have that peace-of-mind motoring for five years.

“The Farmer AutoVillage group are very keen to help out a lot in the community. We secured this vehicle, set up all their lights. Being the second one we’ve done, it’s a lot easier because we knew where to place things and set it up for what they needed. And it looks spectacular, it looks brilliant.”

Based in Greerton, the Tauranga South Community patrol has about 25 active patrollers but around 35 volunteers overall; some who support with fundraising activities and in other ways.

“We are very proud of our volunteers who give up many hours of their time to not only patrol day and night but also support other fundraising activities as well as events in the local area,” says Maureen.

“We welcome new members and the ideal candidate would be between the ages of 18 and 60. You will be asked to complete some training online as well as attend local training sessions often run by the police. During your first three months you will go out on patrol with two other experienced patrollers and gradually learn the protocols and skills required to become a full patroller. It is a rewarding and sometimes exciting opportunity to serve the community.”

The patrol’s regular Tauranga South 70km circuit, where they operate as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police, takes in Greerton CBD, Merivale, Welcome Bay and the Lakes business area, providing a valuable crime prevention community resource.

To join the patrol, or support them, call: 0220 974 681 during business hours or go to their website: http://tscp.org.nz

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