After 19 years serving the Warkworth community, Sergeant Bede Haughey has announced his retirement from the police service.
Back in September, Sgt Haughey was placed on leave following allegations that there was a negative culture in the Warkworth police and the local force had lost the confidence of the Warkworth community.
The Rodney Police Area Commander at the time, Mark Fergus, said there was an employment process underway in respect to the allegations, but he was unable to comment further as the police had the same privacy obligations as any other employer in New Zealand.
The suggestion that Sgt Haughey and the local force had lost the confidence of the community was hotly contested by several community leaders and groups, including the One Warkworth Business Association, Springboard Community Works and the principals of Matakana School and Mahurangi College, who signaled strong support for local police and Sgt Haughey.
The current Rodney Area Commander, Inspector Bruce O’Brien, says Sgt Haughey will be formally thanked and his service recognised by Police in the new year.
A police press release said for nearly two decades, Sgt Haughey was actively involved in working together with the community to make Warkworth and the surrounding areas a safer place to live.
This included serving as an advisor to Springboard Community Works for 10 years, working with Mahurangi College and Ngati Manuhiri to develop the “Not Even Once” methamphetamine prevention programme, and working with sports clubs to develop responsible driver safety initiatives.
Outside of policing, Sgt Haughey served eight years as the Matakana Primary School Board of Trustees chair and six years on the Mahurangi College Board of Trustees.
Although retiring from the Police, Sgt Haughey intends to continue working on community initiatives, including the “Not Even Once” programme.
Warkworth police are currently led by Sgt Scott Sherer, who is on secondment.
Inspector O’Brien hoped to announce a permanent replacement for Sgt Haughey early in the new year.
Sgt Haughey’s last day of duty will be 23 January 2018, which marks his 38th anniversary with the police.