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Police Forums build understanding

Getting to know a policeman is undoubtedly an experience that Katrina Padilla, Gemma Deftereos, Cuan Pillay and Isaac Ioane will never forget. The police forums provided this opportunity.

We were first introduced to Sergeant Matt Green, who works with schools in South Auckland, at Sancta Maria College. He escorted us in a police car to the forum venues. We attended three police forums throughout the year, hosted at Dawson Library, MIT College and Kia-Ora College.

We were not sure who was supposed to sit in the front of the car, but after quiet discussion, we decided it was fair to take turns!

The aim of these forums was for the youth to have a path of clear communication to the Police. We discussed points of concern, police ‘stereotypes’, intimidation amongst youth, violence between schools and police approachability.

A common issue that appeared in each forum was that unfortunately police appear as the ‘bad guys’ due to media portrayal of the police in America and violent video games.
To increase police approachability the police took on our advice in showing a different side of themselves through the “Running Man challenge” which was a social media hit.

It was an overall great experience for all of us who attended as we got to voice our concerns and be 100% ourselves. It was beneficial for us to ask and answer questions that we had and it gave us a better understanding of what being a member of the police involves.

This also was a huge benefit to the police as they took away something different at each forum to work on and develop.

A huge thank you to Mr Vickers who gave us this opportunity to attend these forums.

Gemma Deftereos & Cuan Pillay