A CitySafe Officer has been praised for putting herself in harm’s way to stop a child from being hit by a car running a red light.
23/09/2014 1:23 p.m.
“We received a letter from a member of the community saying she saw CitySafe Officer Gail Lewis risk her own safety to stop a child from being hit by someone running a red light,” said WDC Community Safety Officer David Palmer.
“I was in town a week or so ago waiting in a queue at the busy Bank St/Rust Ave intersection when myself and others watched in horror a young man in a small, noisy vehicle ran the red light just as pedestrians were crossing.
“A young girl (took) 3 steps on the road when the CitySafe officer jumped in front of the young girl with her hand held out to force the vehicle back.
“So the driver did not come in contact with the girl.
“When I approached CitySafe Officer Gail her reply was, “we deal with situations like this on a regular basis. It comes with the job.
“This lady I recommend for bravery, going beyond her job description.
“It shows Gail’s personal safety consciousness, and how much it was noticed by the community. That attitude of supporting each other when we take a stand to keep people safe and set standards of behaviour for others (the car driver) is just the kind of attitude we are encouraging in the community.
“CitySafe is not usually about putting yourself in harm’s way, it is normally about reporting unsafe things to police or our contractors; but having an inborn instinct to take responsibility on the spot is a good thing.”
He said CitySafe officers were part of a collaborative project between Whangarei District Council, the New Zealand Police and the Whangarei Chamber of Commerce aimed at ensuring a safer city. City Safe initiatives include a 24-hour Call Centre, CCTV network, Cops on Bikes, reporting graffiti and truancy, and working to create a wider network of resources in and around the CBD.
“In reality, they are a face on the street giving out a clear message that safety is a priority and everyone has a right to be safe.”
CitySafe has a toll free number 0800 258 258 that can be called to report report graffiti, broken or damaged streetlights, damaged footpaths and tripping hazards, bikes in the mall, skateboarders in the CBD and any other unsafe behaviour.