WHETHER it be on the netball courts refereeing his daughters’ games or on the beat in the Eastern Bay, community has always been a top priority for newly-minted Senior Sergeant Al Fenwick.
After a short stint as senior sergeant in Kawerau, Mr Fenwick has transferred to Whakatane – a process that’s that’s just part of the job.
“Senior sergeants are on rotation between Kawerau, Opotiki and Whakatane,” Mr Fenwick said.
“It keeps things fresh when you rotate, and you can learn new things and bring a fresh perspective to the role.”
Mr Fenwick moved to Whakatane in 2004 when he traded the big smoke of Auckland for the beauty of the Bay, and he’s not looked back since.
“I transferred to Whakatane as a constable in 2004,” he said.
“I moved up the ranks to sergeant and was the first alcohol harm reduction officer appointed in the Eastern Bay.
“I then moved on to Kawerau as a sergeant and applied for the senior sergeant position and now here I am today.”
Relationship building with people in the community remains top priority for Mr Fenwick, as he plans to bring his expertise in relationship building with him to his new Whakatane based role.
“I built up a lot of different relationships within the community in Kawerau and you really get to know people personally over time in this job.
“Everybody in Kawerau knows me, for better or for worse.”
He plans on a positive change for the future and said that his work in Kawerau had prepared him to hit the ground running.
“When I went to Kawerau things weren’t running that well and when I left, I left it in a much better place than it was when I started so I’m proud of my work there … I would love to do the same kind of stuff here,” Mr Fenwick said.
Being responsible for a larger team and area comes with its own set of challenges but Mr Fenwick is up to the task
“It will be a big challenge here because there are more people, but I’m looking forward to it.
“Everybody needs to be a part of the big picture solution and making anywhere safe is about partnerships and contact with the community because we’re all safer if we work together.”