For Inspector Nicky Cooney, her new role as Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander is a case of right job, right place.
Being an area commander is something Nicky started aspiring to about two years ago, but she’s bided her time waiting for the right role and ensuring she’s developed the skills she needs to do it justice.
When the opportunity opened up in the Eastern Bay, she knew she had the perfect opportunity to make a difference – both for those in Police and the communities they serve.
“This is the role for me. It’s the real community feel that I was attracted to, both within Police and outside of it. I’m still in the Bay of Plenty, but this is an opportunity to make a difference in a role and area that is really important to me.”
Nicky has held a range of roles during her time with Police, working across frontline and road policing and more recently, in District Headquarter roles including Deployment Manager, Operations Manager and Professional Conduct Manager.
“My greatest joy in Police was as a frontline supervisor and building your team around you. That was policing in its rawness, working as a first responder.”
For Nicky, the new position is the perfect combination of returning to the part of policing she’s loved most, while using her background in high-performance sport to lead the team. Nicky represented New Zealand in diving at the Commonwealth Games twice, picking up a bronze medal in 1990, and has also played rugby and cricket at a representative level. She also loves the size of both the communities and stations.
“I’m committed to our people and our community and I’m here for the long run.”
As well as a focus on supporting her people, Inspector Cooney knows the responsibilty the role carries for the wider community, and especially local iwi.
A focus over coming months will be engaging with iwi from across the Eastern Bay, working alongside the MPES team to build relationships and look at ways to work together.
“There are relationships to be built and opportunities to engage with the communities. We police by the consent of our communities and it’s important to understand their views.”