Cop wins award honouring work
Howick and Botany Times
By CHRIS HARROWELL
Botany’s community constable has been named Howick Police Employee of the Year 2010-11 for his non-stop efforts in the community.
If his recent activity is anything to go by, the 15-year veteran of the force could be in line to scoop the prestigious Rotary Club of Howick award again next year.
Mr Boles outlined to club members at the presentation ceremony some of the things he was involved with last year.
Among the initiatives is the successful Project 148. It entails police working with schools and encouraging parents to have their children use booster seats until they are at least 148cm tall. His work in that area is a part of the job he’s most fond of.
“Some of the better successes I’ve had are from working with schools,” Mr Boles told the Times.
“Having a good relationship with them allows me to walk in and put my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the community. That way I get information before it would normally come to the police.” An example of the work was the Meet the Community Day, which was held earlier this year at Botany Town Centre. It brought together organisations and individuals to see how they can help each other.
“The day took a lot of time and effort to put on,” says the 48-year-old. “We had 60 agencies there that offer services.
“Negotiating with all of them, saying ‘this is what we are doing and do you want to participate’, took 15 to 20 emails for each of them.
“It was always in the background that it could fail, but it was the highlight of the year in the community.”
Mr Boles also regularly attends meetings held by Probus clubs, ratepayers’ associations and neighbourhood support groups.
When he’s not visiting schools or organising events, the father-of-three fulfils his duty as a member of the police bomb squad, as well as its specialist search group.
He was part of the team that located the remains of missing Auckland mum Carmen Thomas in the Waitakere Ranges last October. The job can be hard at times – and frustrating – but there’s nothing else Mr Boles would rather be doing.
“Every job has its bad days,” he says. “Sometimes when you’re having a bad day, you’ve got to remember the good things you’ve done. That outweighs the bad.
“It gives me great satisfaction when I have an impact on someone’s life.
“It may be saving their life or helping them get on with their neighbour.”
Inspector Jim Searle, police area commander for Counties Manukau East, nominated Mr Boles for the award. “There were a number of community initiatives Garry was involved in, and the work he’s done was outside his core role and work hours,” says Mr Searle.
“We are always trying to provide a high level of service to the community, as well as focus on crime prevention. Our community-focused staff members do a great job with respect to that.” Ted Aislabie, president of Howick Rotary, says the key aspects of Mr Boles’ work that stood out included his roles with Bucklands and Eastern Beach neighbourhood watch groups and Civil Defence.