December 2007

Home > Policing in the community

More sensitive approach for sudden death kin

Several years ago after a multiple fatal crash, Wanganui Sergeant Tracy Patterson was returning some small personal items in a brown paper envelope to a family, when it dawned on her how it lacked sensitivity.

The realisation prompted her to stop and, out of her own pocket, purchase a more suitable container for the return of the items.

Since then, Tracy worked to enable Central District Police to provide a more personal touch to families who experienced a sudden death. More recently, and after an email to the Commissioner, she's worked with Police National Headquarters' Operations Group to implement it nationally.

The new approach sees the use of a green cardboard box which contains smaller paper bags for personal items, and a selection of Police-branded condolence cards.

"Using these items can only help present Police in a more professional light," says Tracy.

Sergeant Tracy Patterson - an 'on-the-job' experience encouraged her to develop the new range of products
for the more sensitive return of personal items to families following a sudden death.


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