Connecting with and giving at-risk youth a second chance is one of the things Senior Constable Jan Coffey has enjoyed
about her job in Mosgiel for the past seven years. Photo by Samantha McPherson
Senior Constable Jan Coffey will miss working with at-risk
youth in Mosgiel.
The Youth Aid Officer, who has spent 21 years in the police,
will step down from her role of seven years in Mosgiel at the
end of the month for family and personal reasons.
Snr Const Coffey spent seven years in Wellington doing
general duties and seven years in South Dunedin dealing with
inquiries before working in Mosgiel.
''I work with at-risk youth under 17 that have committed any
offences, are causing problems or their family might have
concerns about a young person. We look at options and
alternative options. I keep youth out of court if I can,''
The role involves assessing each case and determining what
the most appropriate manner to deal with a young person is.
''I work with a number of organisations including Child,
Youth and Family, schools, counsellors and health services.
We have a range of options that we consider and we also
create alternative action plans, which addresses the
victim's, community's and the young person's needs.''
One of the most rewarding things about the job was seeing
youth progress down the correct pathway, she said.
''Often the kids are really good. You can tap into something
that they will relate to. They always come and say hello.
Getting young people into sport and going along to watch them
play, seeing them excel at things that they thought they
could never do is very rewarding,'' she said.
Snr Const Coffey said communities working together to help
young people was important.
''It is important. The idea is that communities should work
together and help these young people and find alternatives
for them and keep them out of trouble.''
Snr Const Coffey said Mosgiel was a ''good community'' and it
was a job she would miss.
''It's a good community. Everyone rallies around and gets
behind people and community projects. That is really
important. I will miss it but it's time to go after 21 years
in the police,'' she said.
- by Samantha McPherson