Departing policeman happy with crime rate

Senior Constable Steve Baddock
Senior Constable Steve Baddock
Kurow's sole-charge police officer is on the move.

Senior Constable Steve Baddock (45) and his family leave this week for Pahiatua, where he has accepted a promotion to sergeant.

Snr Const Baddock will be officer in charge of the Pahiatua police station, responsible for 11 staff, including the out-stations of Woodville and Eketahuna.

Snr Const Baddock joined the police after 10 years in the forest service.

He spent three years in Upper Hutt and six in Oamaru before moving to Kurow eight years ago.

Kurow had been a good place to work and live, with a community that looked after each other, and it was a hard decision to leave, he said.

He had worked with the community and, together, they had been able to "hammer" crime - crime was now at its lowest levels since he had been there, he said.

Snr Const Baddock said he had previously relieved in the Waitaki Valley while working in Oamaru, and the Kurow position appealed to him.

He had also enjoyed fishing and golfing in the area.

The best part of the job was working with the community.

Being sole charge meant he was dependent on help from local people.

The most unusual incident he had attended was in 2004, when a couple and a dog survived a 21m fall over the Waitaki dam.

The couple said later they had cruised down the lake early that morning to see the dawn from the dam but their boat slammed into the dam, bouncing over the top and plunging into the Waitaki River below, narrowly missing a concrete spillway.

It was believed to be the first time anyone had gone over the top of the dam since it was built in the 1930s.

That also doubled as one of the luckiest things he had seen as it could easily have been a double fatality.

Snr Const Baddock's last day at work in Kurow will be Friday and he will start his new job on December 22.

Unlike the Waitaki Valley, where the population swells with holidaymakers over the Christmas-New Year period, it was a quiet time in Pahiatua, he said.

The position in Kurow has been advertised, along with the sole charge position in Omarama.


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