Community patrollers recognised for efforts

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For the first time, Gore Community Patrol members have been formally recognised for their volunteer work.

The Community Patrol Awards were held on Friday.

Community patrol secretary Graham English said awards were presented to long-time community patrol members Clarence Stevenson and Allan McCord.

“We had a couple of guys who had served for 25 years. They were the first awards given out to our patrol,” Mr English said.

Mr English said the community patrol was the community’s eyes and ears.

“We look for anything in the community that’s amiss, like an open window or open door, and from there if needed we can contact the police.”

The pair were presented with Community Patrol New Zealand plaques for 25 years’ service.

“Gore Community Patrol just turned 25, that’s why no awards had been presented before. One recipient was a founding member and the other joined six months after,” he said.

Mr Stevenson was in the first community patrol group in 1992 and Mr McCord joined not long afterwards.

Sergeant Greg Ballantyne said the awards function was a really good night which was well-deserved.

“Working one job for 25 years is a good effort, especially as unpaid volunteers,” Sgt Ballantyne said.

“In June 1992, the community patrol had their first town meeting. Clarry (Stevenson) and Allan (McCord) were there and pretty much that kicked off the movement,” he said.

Sgt Ballantyne said the community patrol was a great help to police.

“They do a fantastic job, – [each one is ] another pair of eyes and ears on the streets.

“I think Clarry and Allan were saying they did about 1200 hours each – that’s a huge achievement and they are well worthy of recognition.

Such patrols helped police all throughout New Zealand, he said.