New safety initiative for Wellington CBD a ‘game-changer’Posted by On

Wellington City Council launched the Pōneke Promise programme in 2021 with the aim of making the CBD safer.

Businesses and of course local residents were feeling unsafe and they wanted to create a safer environment in the city,” says mayor Tory Whanau.

One answer is a new partnership between the council, Wellington Free Ambulance and Wellington District Police, that will see cops and paramedics team up on Friday and Saturday nights to patrol Courtney Place and its surrounds.

Sergeant Will Buchanan leads the team, and says it’s a positive initiative.

It’s a game-changer for police in terms of our times, it’s a game-changer for WFA in terms of their response times, it’s a game-changer for the way the public are able to get the help that they might need immediately.”

Emergency services working together is hardly new, but traditionally paramedics would remain a small distance away from the action, ready to be called up.

But last year’s protest and occupation at parliament changed that, with a trial put in place where paramedics were paired up with police on the frontline.

“They were trained up to such a level that they could work in what you might call hostile situations where normal paramedics don’t operate,” says WFA’s general manager of operations, Eric Tibbott.

“But in some of the downtime we had, they went down with some of the local district police, in Courtenay Place just to test what it would look like to have paramedics there and then.”

Sergeant Buchanan says the…

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