Waimate’s ‘solo cop’ has army background

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Waimate should seem a little quieter for Sergeant Kevin Reynolds than two of his former bases of operations.
Sgt Reynolds is a former radio technician in the British army and served in the First Gulf War and Bosnian conflicts.
He replaces former area supervisor Sergeant Mike van der Heyden, who took up a post in Temuka on August 1, retaining the Mackenzie supervisor position as well as gaining control of Twizel, Fairlie, Geraldine and Pleasant Point stations.
Sgt Reynolds left his position in Auckland City District to geta taste of heartland New Zealand and to be closer to his partner’s family, who farm in Morven, just outside Waimate.
He looked forward to working with the community, building on strengths the police already had in the area.
An initial difference of the role he noticed was how much one officer was expected to do when processinga scene of a crime.
He expected the major challenge in the town to be around resourcing.
‘‘There’s still that potential for things to go horribly wrong. When you’re the solo cop, you would be expected to hold that situation, but in Auckland, you wouldn’t be expected to hold on to the situation for long.’’
Sgt Reynolds grew up in Reading, England.
He left the army for the police to gain new challenges, and spent about eight years as a frontline police officer in the Thames Valley Police unit before moving to London’s Metropolitan Police.
He was involved in the Transport Operational Command group — policing the bus network and the response to the London bombings in 2005.
‘‘I wasn’t there at the front end, fortunately.’’
Later promoted, he became a frontline sergeant in northwest London.
He decided to take the plunge and move to New Zealand in 2008 for a lifestyle change.
Based for eight years in Auckland, he later became part of the Glen Innes and Point England neighbourhood policing team.