Heather Du Plessis-Allan: Let's appreciate our police officers more

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jun 2020, 4:16PM
Two police officers are seriously hurt after being shot in West Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

Heather Du Plessis-Allan: Let's appreciate our police officers more

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jun 2020, 4:16PM

We need to start this show by acknowledging the loss of one of our police officers today.

We have one police officer dead and one in hospital with injuries after what should have been a routine traffic stop in Massey.

My condolences, and I’m sure yours too, go out to the officer’s family and friends and the NZ Police.

It’s easy to forget that policing in this country is a dangerous job.

Cops get a hard time, even here in New Zealand. It’s fashionable to turn them into the bad guys: to accuse them of targeting communities and to import grievances from overseas and hold protests accusing them of doing the same thing.  It’s deeply unfair to do that, because it doesn’t take into account the service they’re doing for us at risk to themselves.

This is a reminder of that risk. This was a routine traffic stop. How many of those do they do a day?  We might be complacent because this doesn’t happen often. The last time we lost an officer was 11 years ago in the Jan Molenaar shootings.

Policing in this country has become more dangerous in just the last few years, with deported Aussie gangs setting up here and jostling for turf. So those routine traffic stops are getting more dangerous, not less.

Today should be a reality check to every one of us who have been quick to criticise and slow to thank.