Boost for Tawa’s ‘eyes and ears’

Tawa Community Patrol volunteers no longer need to squeeze into the back of their Toyota Corolla with a new vehicle on the road.

The organisation, active in Tawa since 2008, recently bought a new Honda HRV.

Ready for patrol are Michael, left, and Allan Johnson. Photo: Jo Lucre
Ready for patrol are Michael, left, and Allan Johnson. Photo: Jo Lucre

Co-ordinator Michael Johnson said fundraising and sponsorship for the vehicle had been a three year-long project and the new car was a way of taking the group to the next level of community patrol.

“We are the eyes and ears of the Tawa community and the NZ Police,” he said.

Johnson said the patrol was very active in the Tawa community and had a close working relationship with Porirua Police, Wellington City Council and the Fire Service.

The community patrol often responded to emergencies like flooding, was involved in community events like the Christmas Parade and Toot for Tucker and had recently started working with Civil Defence.

“Police get us involved in a lot of stuff and we are very keen to help out,” he said.

The Honda was proudly displayed alongside the group’s original Toyota at Spring into Tawa’s recent event.

Johnson said the Toyota will remain on the road with the long term plan to give the older car to another community patrol.

“There has been a huge amount of work and generosity that has gone into this purchase,” said Johnson.

“There have been a number of sponsors and supporters that have helped us out,” he said.

Raising the profile and visibility of the group was a priority he said.

Michael’s father Allan Johnson is in charge of recruitment and said the Corolla had served the patrol well but they always knew it was never going to be their car for life.

He said the new car would allow them to get out more and enhance what they were already doing.

The patrol has close to 40 volunteers and the group operates both day and night patrols.

“We want to be ‘overt’ as a patrol and the profile of our car is our number one priority,” he said.

The Honda would be fitted with a light bar and an electronic system to log events of incidents directly to police rather than the old system of recording incidents on paper logs.

Allan said Spring into Tawa was a great event to be involved in.

“It’s great to been seen by the people in the community we serve.”

The new vehicle was officially launched last week with Peter Dunne and a number of other dignitaries attending.