Dunedin police non-sworn staff member Anne Routledge with
her New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal for
professionalism, high ethical standards, reliability and
contribution to the police force. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Anne Routledge is the first non-sworn police staff member
to be awarded the New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal,
but she is not broadcasting the achievement from the rooftops.
The 63-year-old was one of six New Zealand Police staff
awarded the new medal, and while she is delighted and
honoured, she said the medal itself would be worn only on
''I'm very proud to have received it, but I'm not one to blow
my own trumpet.
''It's not something that I would like to show off. It's so
special, but it's something I'll only bring out on special
occasions like Anzac Day and formal police ceremonies.''
Ms Routledge has been the personal assistant to a regional
commissioner, five district commanders and many relieving
commanders during the past 23 years at the Dunedin Central
Before that, she was a personal assistant at a bank, but when
it was bought by another bank, she decided to look for
''When this job came up, I thought it looked really
interesting and I haven't looked back since.
''My first big job was the Aramoana debriefing - it was
absolutely massive. I thought, oh God, what am I doing here.
''It was very traumatic with people and [a policeman] being
slain. It was a totally new environment for me to be in.''
Despite the job being traumatic at times, Ms Routledge said
she continued in the job because of the people she worked
''I think it's mainly the people, but it's also that there's
never two days the same - there's always something happening
''It's also because every time a new district commander
starts, it's kind of like getting a new job because they are
all such different characters and they do things so
''And, of course, technology has moved so fast over recent
years. When I first started, they were just moving from
typewriters, believe it or not, to computers.
''Keeping up with the technology has kept me absorbed in the
Southern District commander Superintendent Andrew Coster said
Ms Routledge's service to successive district commanders and
regional commanders had been ''absolutely outstanding''.
''She is one of these people who gets on with doing her job
without fuss, but in doing it, is incredibly helpful to a
really wide range of people here within the district
''It's marvellous to see her receive this acknowledgement,
particularly to be the first person to receive a Meritorious
''Staff from far and wide have been very pleased to see Anne
get this award as an acknowledgement of the really important
contribution that our support staff make within policing.''