Sergeant Gurpreet Arora from Counties Manukau Police last Friday was awarded a coveted medal for his 14-years-long service and good conduct with New Zealand Police.

“Medals are earned and not just given,” a jubilant Sergeant Arora had posted on his Facebook page, sharing the news of this proud achievement with friends and families Sunday, November 22.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora (Picture: Supplied)

Earlier, the medal was presented to him by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster at the Tamaki Makaurau Awards Ceremony under the Long Service and Good Conducts category hosted by New Zealand Police at Vodafone Event Centre on Friday, November 20.

For the Long Service and Good Conduct medal received by Sergeant Arora, the eligibility criteria was that officers must have completed a 14 years continuous service in the New Zealand Police and their conduct and character, under Commissioner’s opinion, must be of good standard to warrant the award.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora receiving his medal from Police Commissioner Andrew Coster (Picture: Supplied)

Sergeant Arora, currently working as Family Harm Partnership Liaison Officer had joined New Zealand Police in January 2006 as a Constable.

He was posted at Christchurch Beat Kiosk before moving to General Duties branch nine months later.

Subsequently, he took welfare transfer to Auckland in April 2008 and was stationed at Manurewa Police Station.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora with community organisations working for family harm victims, Gandhi Nivas and Sahaayta in Auckland

In 2008, the Indian community was stuck with a tragic death of a liquor store owner Navtej Singh in an aggravated robbery incident in Manurewa, Auckland that led to a call for a liaison position to be created by NZ Police to improve communication and bridge the gap with the South Asian community.

Sergeant Arora applied for the position and joined the role as the first South Asian Liaison Officer in Counties Manukau Police and the first Ethnic Sergeant of Sikh Faith in Counties Manukau Police.

He has since then led several programmes and initiatives such as Operation Dukan, New to New Zealand Initiative for International Students, increasing awareness about family violence, safety at home, personal safety, car safety and played an instrumental role in setting up Gandhi Nivas, an early intervention facility for family harm cases.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora's medal for 14-years Long Service and Good Conduct by NZ Police (Picture: Supplied)

In November 2009, Sergeant Arora was conferred with the District Commander’s Award for his hard work in turning the community’s attitudes toward New Zealand Police, which also resulted in recruitments into the force from members of the community.

In June 2020, Sergeant Arora was assigned to the role of Family Harm Partnership Liaison attached to Whängaia Nga Pa Harakeke as the District lead for Gandhi Nivas programme. He also holds the portfolio for family violence in South Asian Communities.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora with a retailer working on the initiative Operation Dukan and community outreach programme (Picture: Radio New Zealand) 

Speaking to the Indian Weekender Sergeant Arora thanked to the members of the community, different community groups, individuals, partnership service providers who helped supported him in his journey and driving a positive change in the community.

“My message to young people is that police officer is a very rewarding career and they should keep NZ Police as part of the career option they can choose in addition to other options that are available to them,” Sergeant Arora said.

“To parents in our community, NZ Police is a very reputable organisation and values diversity, so please encourage your children to join NZ Police,” Sergeant Arora added.

Sergeant Arora will complete 15 years in the force in January 2021.