Venkat Raman –
One of the banes of being a police officer is that you never seem to be on the right side of anything or anybody.
The public says that you do nothing while your bosses say you have not done enough.
But times are a changing.
The cops are getting closer to people and the people are looking at the police as they would at a human being.
It takes two to tango and in recent years, the dance has had rhythm to it.
The Auckland City District Police, the Counties Manukau District Police and the National Ethnic Focus Forum of the Police Commissioner have taken some extraordinary initiatives to understand the needs of the people, more important, their fears.
Commitment to welfare
She attends every event to which she is invited, meets with people in distress, arranges counselling wherever appropriate, liaises with her colleagues and takes her concerns to the concerned, and tried to address them.
Her efforts have begun to pay dividends.
“People are more responsive and friendly to the police now than ever before. They are forthcoming and speak to us with the confidence that something will be done to assuage their feelings. Safety and security has been a major issue,” Ms Phuang said.
The Indian community is beginning to view the Police in a different light, considering the officers more as friends and less as “those fellows who only want to give you a ticket for some traffic violation or the other.”
“As more and more people see us as one of them and work closely with us, we will be able to promote safety in the community. We need your cooperation,” Ms Phuang said.
Her role in mobilising police support at events do not always go unnoticed. Inspired by her commitment and involvement in ‘Japan Day’ held on April 12, 2015, Japanese Consul General Yoshitaka Yokoyama organised a dinner in her honour at his official residence in Auckland on August 13, 2015.
“We are proud of you and we thank you for your interest in the welfare of the Japanese community. Your help and assistance was an important contributor to the success of ‘Japan Day 2015,’ and we look forward to working with you,” he said at the gathering and presented her with a Certificate of Appreciation.
Among those present on the occasion were Japanese Vice Consul Satoru Kodani, Security Officer Simon Holden and a number of officials from the Auckland City District Police.
They included District Commander Superintendent Richard Chambers, Maori & Ethnic Responsiveness Manager Inspector Joe Tipene, Operations Manager Inspector Peter Gibson, International Student Ambassador Manager and Youth & Community Coordinator Senior Sergeant Martin Brown, Asian Advisory Board Members Masa Sekikawa, Jenny Wang, Austin Kim, this Reporter and Police Applicant and Auckland Safety Patroller Takashi Endo.
- Japanese Consul General Yoshitaka Yokoyama presenting the Certificate to Jessica Phuang
- Special guests at the Special Dinner