Senior Constable Cummings re-joined the police in 2007 after serving the force in the early 1970s. He’d left college and entered the police for a stint of four years before leaving to go overseas. But he returned in 1992 and the former policeman eventually found his way back into the service.
Cummings is now a familiar sight around Takitumu having fostered solid connections in and around his home district as part of the Vaka Policing responsibility.
Times have changed though. He’s seen the evolution of technology in police work and dramatic shifts in social attitudes and community behaviour. But his heart remains with the community, keeping up contact with those who may be straying off course, and working closely with various neighbourhood watch groups to keep the village safe.
Cummings was instrumental in setting up the Takitumu Wardens with Kautai Mataiapo, as well as establishing the Muri Ngatangiia Community Station with Pu Tapere Keta Williams. As branch president, he has also been a very active and senior member of the Mormon Church in Ngatangiia.
Currently, his shifts are spent with the drivers’ licensing team of officers, assisting with the handling and skills testing. And every school day morning, the senior constable stands watch over the kids using the school crossing at Takitumu College.
It’s clear that Cummings’ own skills are put to good use in dealing with a broad range of people – from the younger ones in the community to the scores of visitors from overseas who are preparing to drive motorcycles or simply holidaying in the Takitumu area.