Long-serving cop quits to run pub

Helen Fincham-Putter.
Helen Fincham-Putter.
After 16 years, Middlemarch's sole police officer is calling it a day.

Senior Constable Helen Fincham-Putter confirmed to the Otago Daily Times she was stepping down as the town's sole charge police officer to run Stanleys Hotel, in Macraes.

Her last day in the blue uniform will be tomorrow.

She arrived in Middlemarch in 2002 after starting her career in South Canterbury and Timaru.

Strath Taieri Community Board chairman Barry Williams said Snr Const Fincham-Putter had been a vital part of the Middlemarch community and she would be missed.

Rural police officers had have the support of the community they served which she did, Mr Williams said.

It appeared the community would be left without a dedicated police officer, at least in the short term, and the community was not sure if she would be replaced, he said.

''It looks like we will have to work like hell to get someone else but we're going to go through the proper channels and I'm going to raise it at our next community board meeting.''

A police spokeswoman said that they were unable to comment on any possible replacement for Snr Const Fincham-Putter yesterday as the relevant staff members were unavailable.

Snr Const Fincham-Putter also had a long association with the town's volunteer fire brigade and Middlemarch Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer John Foote said he hoped she would continue to be involved in some capacity.

''It's going to be a big change and I've worked closely with Helen throughout my time as fire chief and she's been a great country cop who will be very hard to replace and we will miss her.''

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

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