Foot patrols on agenda

Senior Constable Karren Bye is the new Mosgiel community constable. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Senior Constable Karren Bye is the new Mosgiel community constable. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Meet your new community constable.

Senior Constable Karren Bye has big plans for the role, including regular foot patrols, as she ''wants to get back into old-fashioned community policing''.

This June will mark 21 years since she joined the police.

So what made the former trained chef do that?

''It was through tragedy, really,'' Snr Const Bye said.

''My father was killed in a car crash so I came back for the funeral and decided to join the police. I wanted to make a difference.''

She remembered the local police officer living across the road as she grew up in the small community of Westwood, ''and I kind of veered into a community path as a result of my upbringing''.

Her first seven years was as a front-line police officer in Dunedin, before she was stationed to South Dunedin.

After taking a year off for maternity leave, she returned in 2002 to work in the inquiries office, where she got her first taste of community policing.

While the role of a general duties officer was often being reactive to crime, she enjoyed the proactive approach of community policing: liaising with schools, shops and the wider community.

''You use a lot of local knowledge to solve crime, because once you build up a rapport with people, they talk.''

From late last year she temporarily filled a role as a prison liaison officer before applying for the vacant Mosgiel community constable role.

With her appointment confirmed last month, she was looking forward to meeting residents. She planned to walk the beat at least twice a week and explore the idea of a youth community centre for Mosgiel.

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