Taupō’s new area commander has a firm focus on people – both those in the community and those working to keep them safe.
Inspector Phil Edwards has taken over the top role, and is a familiar face to many, having worked as the Taupō Area Response Manager.
While Inspector Edwards says the new role comes with new responsibilities, he says some things won’t change – like his passion for people and doing what he can to help make the lives of those doing the mahi that bit easier.
“I’ll be looking at building on the foundation we’ve got, looking at how we can help reduce the demand on the frontline by partnering with people and organisations in the prevention space.”
A self-confessed ‘people person’ who gets his energy from people, Inspector Edwards says he plans to be the type of leader who serves his staff so that they can get on and do the mahi for the community.
“In my previous role I’ve developed some strong relationships in the community and I’m looking forward to building on those, as well as developing new relationships so we can continue to make sure our community can be safe and feel safe.
“Part of that is investing in our people so that collectively we can deliver a service which our community deserves.”
Inspector Edwards has spent almost 16 years in Police, all of it in the Bay of Plenty area, and has worked extensively on the frontline. Outside of work he’s heavily involved with hockey and over recent years has coached several teams and been Taupō Hockey’s coaching and development officer.
“I think it is really important to be involved in the community,” he says. “Partnerships will be a priority of mine over the next 12 months. The Taupō Collective, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Raukawa will continue to play a significant role in how we collectively navigate our community through Omicron.”
Inspector Edwards says he’s particularly proud of the staff in the Taupō area for the work they do every day to keep the community safe.