The new Dunedin Clutha Waitaki police commander says his
late uncle - shot while responding to the Aramoana massacre -
influenced his decision to join up.
Inspector Jason Guthrie (44) has been named the new area
commander, replacing Inspector Greg Sparrow, who retired
earlier this year.
Insp Guthrie joined the police 20 years ago, serving in the
Dunedin area, including in frontline and administrative
His uncle, Sergeant Stewart Guthrie (41), was killed by
gunman David Gray at Aramoana on November 13, 1990.
''The fact that I had a family connection with the police
through my uncle was certainly an influence on my decision to
join up,'' Insp Guthrie said.
''I'm very proud of his commitment to serve his local
community and in particular his response to the tragic events
Insp Guthrie has been a member of the Dunedin armed offenders
squad since 1998 and for the past 18 months served as AOS
commander for Dunedin Clutha Waitaki.
In 2011, he was posted to Afghanistan for seven months, as
part of a New Zealand Police contingent in Bamiyan province.
He also helped establish the new Southern district command
centre, aimed at crime prevention.
Insp Guthrie, who gained a BCom at the University of Otago,
said he was honoured to take up the new role.
''It's an honour for me to lead the outstanding police staff
we have in Dunedin Clutha Waitaki and I am looking forward to
supporting the fantastic work they do.
''Local communities have every reason to be extremely proud
of their police, who work hard to prevent and reduce crime
and are committed to ensuring our patch remains one of the
safest in the world.
''Although wider Dunedin is a very safe place, we still have
plenty of opportunities to make it safer by increasing our
crime prevention activities.''
Issues included road safety, alcohol and violence in the
home, he said.
''None of these harmful behaviours are acceptable to our
community and my intention is to lead a strong crime
prevention focus that tackles these issues with vigour.''
Southern district commander Superintendent Andrew Coster said
he was delighted to make the appointment as Insp Guthrie
brought many key strengths and abilities to the role.
''He's been relieving as area commander for the past few
months and, in that short time, has had a very positive
impact, demonstrating his ability to tackle important issues
and to provide clear direction and focus,'' Supt Coster said.
''I have no doubt that he will play a key part in the
Southern district achieving its vision of being the safest
place to live and visit.''