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Issue No. 411 March 2017

An excellent response

By Commissioner Mike Bush

Police staff worked closely with other services during the emergency.

Kia ora. The Police response to last month’s Christchurch fires was an excellent example of our people pulling together and working closely with our partner agencies to keep people safe.

Although Police was not the lead agency, the community always looks to us for help and protection in these situations and the actions of our staff helped save lives and property.

The tragic death of helicopter pilot Steve Askin, who was helping fight the fires, underlined the risk to those working in close proximity to the flames, and I’m sure all staff join me in sending condolences to his family.

Working closely with Fire, Defence, Civil Defence and other organisations, Police played a huge role in the evacuation of residents whose homes were in danger and the cordoning of burning areas.

The deployment of staff from Tasman and Auckland City helped allow this work to be done alongside all the business-as-usual policing activities that needed to be done.

I also want to acknowledge the strong and visible leadership of Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price and Christchurch Metro Area Commander Superintendent Lane Todd.

The professionalism and selflessness of all staff involved in the response – including at least five who were evacuated from their own homes - provided reassurance at what must have been a terrifying time.

The huge amount of positive feedback (and cards and baking!) that our people in Christchurch received, both during and since the emergency, shows just how much their efforts were appreciated. You can all be very proud.

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