Former policeman continues to serve area

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Still involved . . . Downer routine works manager Alastair Dickie, of Mosgiel, remains working as an adviser to the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Response Group after co-founding the group during his 39-year police career. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A former top Taieri cop has a had a career change but continues his community work.

Alastair Dickie retired from the police as Taieri-Clutha area response manager in March last year, ending a 39-year career.

When asked if he missed police work, he said: “Occasionally I miss it but not really – a lot of the 39 years was action-packed and it was time to slow down.”

He began working as Downer routine works manager in August last year and manages Downer contracts with Dunedin City Council, ensuring “timelines and standards are met”.

“It’s the potholes, litter, bus shelters, walkways. signs and railings . . . and street I’m still picking up rubbish,” he laughs.

As a policeman, he co-founded the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Response Group with former Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairman Bill Feather.

Mr Dickie, of Mosgiel, continues to work with the group as an adviser.

The idea for the group was triggered by a “hairy sort of a flood” on the Taieri in 2006.

The flood did not impact the wider Dunedin area but he had plenty of emergency support available.

However, a flood on the Taieri in 2015 was a “different kettle of fish” and impacted across Dunedin.

“I was struggling to get resources.”

He and Mr Feather worked together to rally groups on the Taieri for support.

“We got through that one OK but we decided we need to plan and to formalise it better.”

A plan included listing the available resources on the Taieri which could be “drawn on” in an emergency.

The group was in “a good position and more than capable” but needed more support to provide cover at the “management level” such as an incident controller, operations manager and people experienced in logistics, planning and intel, he said.

People who wanted to help could contact board chairwoman Sarah Nitis, who chaired the group and the monthly meetings of planning and analysis.

“Sarah is full of energy. She’s like a wee fox terrier and rips into things .. and board deputy chairman Joy Davis has been a stalwart as well – right from the start.

“I take my hat off to them.”