Keeping peace in Puaikura

Monday July 18, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Newly-commissioned police officers (back row) Nia Remuera, Constable Tehapai Marsters, Senior Sergeant Maeva Kirikava, Teariki Purua (front row) Nii Pokipoki, Pare Rongokea (Vaka Puaikura police volunteers’ coordinator) and Vaipo Mataora. 16071412 Newly-commissioned police officers (back row) Nia Remuera, Constable Tehapai Marsters, Senior Sergeant Maeva Kirikava, Teariki Purua (front row) Nii Pokipoki, Pare Rongokea (Vaka Puaikura police volunteers’ coordinator) and Vaipo Mataora. 16071412

PARE Rongokea and his colleague Nii Pokipoki have not regretted their decision to take up volunteering stints with the Vaka Puaikura Police.

 

The duo, who have previously given their free time to helping commissioned officers carry out their day-to-day responsibilities, say they had been assisting the officers for four years.

And Pokipoki says volunteering work has changed her life.

 “What my colleagues and I do is we basically reach out to the community and target youths since they are the leaders of tomorrow.

“We run awareness programmes on drinking and driving and educate youths on the importance of making wise decisions.

 “The whole idea is to stop them from getting into trouble.”

She said Puaikura once had a very high crime rate, but ever since they started reaching out to the community, police have seen crime figures drop.

And despite all of the challenges, they have encountered, Pokipoki says they have always kept moving forward.

“We don’t get paid; we devote our time to this for free. We give up our family time, the time we spent with our children and other things to help make our community and the Cook Islands in general a better and safer place.”

Vaka Puaikura police volunteer co-ordinator Pare Rongokea says his volunteering stint has been hectic, but enjoyable.

“The challenging thing about our job is we have to learn to be patient, especially with the drinking and driving cases and also working the early morning shifts.

“We normally work Thursday, Friday and Saturday because that is the peak hour for drinking and driving and we normally start at 8pm and finish at 5am. We work until everything is calm and our shifts depend on the time we are rostered to work.

“Now that we are full-time officers on a volunteering basis we’ll have to be on the run all the time.”

Rongokea advise the public to work together and help police create a crime-free nation.

“We want a safer community and we encourage everyone to work together for a safer and more secure environment.”

Pare Rongokea and Nii Pokipoki were among the five police officers commissioned and blessed at the Tinomana Ariki Palace Au Maru recently.

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