Initiative boosts police station hours

"Win-win" . . . Celebrating a new community partnership based at Mosgiel police station are (from left) Saddle Hill Foundation Trust Taieri community co-ordinator Jacqui Hyde, community facilitator Joy Davis and Otago Neighbourhood Support regional co-ordinator Lois Scott-Muir. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A spin-off of a new community partnership is Mosgiel police station being open to the public for longer.

The Dunedin City Council has committed in principle to give a partnership led by Saddle Hill Foundation Trust a $101,415 place-based community grant over three years.

It has given the trust $34,605 this year. Funding for the two following years – $33,405 in 2020 and 2021 – is conditional on performance and future council budgets being approved.

The grant was to establish a Taieri community co-ordinator role.

Jacqui Hyde began the 20-hour-a-week role last month and works from Mosgiel police station.

The other parties in the partnership are the council, Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board, Mosgiel-Taieri Community Response Group, Otago Neighbourhood Support, police and Saddle Hill Foundation Trust.

Otago Neighbourhood Support regional co-ordinator Lois Scott-Muir said the idea for the partnership was born from a discussion between herself, trust community facilitator Joy Davis and board chairwoman Sarah Davie-Nitis.

They had been talking about Mosgiel police station being closed more often and a need of a co-ordinator to be a “strong voice” for the community, she said.

A co-ordinator could increase the Neighbourhood Support membership in Mosgiel and co-ordinate volunteers in times of need, such as a flood.

The idea was floated to Otago coastal area commander Inspector Jason Guthrie, who supported the partnership, Mrs Scott-Muir said.

The search for a co-ordinator began after the funding application was approved.

It revealed the “perfect person” – Jacqui Hyde, who had lived in the district for 25 years.

“She’s an incredible networker . . . a homegrown star,” Mrs Scott-Muir said.

The appointment was “a win-win”, as Mrs Hyde works 20 hours a week as a support officer at the station.

Part of her role includes working on the front counter.

Mrs Hyde said because her new role was based there, the station would be open longer.

“If I’m here doing my new role – the door will be open for people to come in – it will make the police station more accessible to the community.”

Mrs Davis said it was “fantastic” the station was open longer.

The new role was “going to be really good for Mosgiel. It’s an absolute win”.

The grant also paid for Mrs Davis’ 10-hour-a-week community facilitator position so she could “mentor and support” Mrs Hyde in the new role and they could work together on community events such as Neighbours Day celebrations.

“Now we are going to be able to do it bigger and better,” Mrs Davis said.