Five police officers were acknowledged on 2019 Police Remembrance Day in Queenstown late last month – two receiving district commander commendations.
Constables Matthew Hargreaves and Alexandra Cully were recognised for their life-saving efforts on May 15 in Queenstown when Hargreaves was made aware of a person making suicide threats.
Otago Lakes-Central area commander inspector Olaf Jensen says they discovered the male unconscious and unresponsive in a running vehicle inside a locked garage.
Cully broke a window and Hargreaves, despite overpowering fumes and heat, managed to gain entry and turn the vehicle off.
They then managed to get the man, still unresponsive, outside where he began to regain consciousness.
“If not for [their] actions, the man would have died,” Jensen says.
Service awards were also presented to Queenstown detective Grant Miller, for 28 years’ service, and Wanaka detective Alan Lee, for 21 years.
And detective sergeant Brian Cameron was also acknowledged on what was his last day in Queenstown after 12 years.
He’ll begin work in Canterbury on Monday.
The awards followed a service to remember the 94 New Zealand police and traffic officers killed while on duty, or who died as a result of police duties, and eight serving and former staff who had died in the past year.
Behind every name read aloud by members of Queenstown police was a story which served as a reminder of the “reality the police face every day”, Jensen says.
“Being a police officer is more than just a job, it’s a commitment to putting the safety of others before your own.”
Jensen made special reference to detective Travis Hughes, of Queenstown, who died in a plane crash along with pilot Chris Scott in January 2005, and to other Central Otago officers who have died.
Three suspected drink-drivers were caught by a police checkpoint – between 6.30am and 8am on Monday.
Sergeant Steve Watt says police tested 220 drivers in Lake Esplanade.
One blew 339mcg and had been ticketed, another blew 499mcg and will appear in court and a third elected a blood sample be taken.
Another seven had tested positive for alcohol, but were below the legal limit of 250mcg.
“It’s disappointing to see so early in the morning people are driving while intoxicated,” Watt says.
“It’s important to realise if you have a few the night before the effects do last for quite some time and it takes a number of hours for the alcohol to be clear of your system.”
Another drink-driver was caught at a Beach Street checkpoint 12.20am on Sunday. The 36-year-old female blew 694mcg.