Double up for airport police

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Queenstown Airport is to get two new cops – who’ll double as community officers in Frankton.

The posts will be advertised next week, as a further security presence is planned for the busy tourist hub.

It’ll double the number of full-time police at the airport to four.

The officer in charge of airport police, sergeant Steve Hutt, welcomes the move.

“At present, I have one permanent member of staff and two part-time officers who job share,” he says.

“The two new full-time posts will be based at the airport but we’ll be expanding our sphere of operation into the wider Frankton community and hopefully Kingston as well.

“But we’re not trying to make another police station at the airport. It just so happens that we’re in the middle of the Frankton community.”

Hutt insists the new officers will have a very different role to any others in the resort.

“They won’t be used as response police like in Queenstown,” he says. “They will of course be part of the armed unit that’s required at the airport and will carry out certain duties there.

“But they will also be directed specifically to target the surrounding community and community issues. They won’t be listening to the radio and being bounced from job to job.”

Hutt says the two new posts will be filled “within the next couple of months”.