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Farewell for Neighbourhood Hero

Waimea Weekly

Marty Price, who has been the Neighbourhood Support Coordinator for 8 years, is stepping back from the role to move into full-time work. / Photo: Matt McCrorie

Marty Price always wanted to be a cop. He practically grew up in a police station.

“In a good way,” he assures me.

Marty’s mum worked in a police station for 23 years when he was growing up, and he said that it gave him the chance to see firsthand the positive work that the police do.

"I’ve always had high regard for the police. I wanted to be a cop, but an injury prevented that."

So, after emigrating from Ireland, he found the next best thing.

For the last 8 years, Marty has worked as the Neighbourhood Support Co-ordinator for Waimea, assisting the police in setting up street groups. It’s a role that he’s been in since it was first created in 2012.

The Neighbourhood Support Co-ordinator works with the police by establishing Neighbourhood Support street groups. Marty is also one of the co-founders of Community Patrol, who assist police by patrolling local neighbourhoods on a Friday and Saturday evening, alerting the police to anything suspicious.

“We’re basically an extra set of eyes and ears for the police.”

Alerting police to burglaries, helping identify a witness in a stabbing, raising money for community groups like Community Patrol, providing cars and AED, Marty says he’s proud of the way he’s been able to assist the community.

Now, after 8 years in the role, Marty is moving on to a full-time role with the DHB.

“I’m going to miss it.”

He says that the role is a hugely important job.

“The biggest thing is being able to connect the community. To reassure people that someone out there is looking out for them,” Marty says.

Marty says that a lot of people don’t end up calling the police when they feel unsafe, because they don’t want to waste police time.

“It’s a huge thing for people to be able to have someone in their neighbourhood they can contact.”

While he’ll continue in his role at Community Patrol, Marty says that it’s been a huge honour to be in the neighbourhood support role for the last 8 years and that he’ll be sad to move on.

“It sounds cheesy,” Marty says, “but it’s been amazing to be able to serve the community all these years.”

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