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Street artist swaps pop for cop

Police quake heroes have been honoured with street art in Christchurch, in a bold move that aims to promote work in the police force to the younger crowd.

Police quake heroes have been honoured with street art in Christchurch, in a bold move that aims to promote work in the police force to the younger crowd.

Constable Nao Yoshimizu and Constable Spence Kingi both took significant roles in the rescue and recovery effort in Christchurch on February 22. This week street art depicting their extraordinary stories has been unveiled, created by Otis Frizzell.

It’s all part of New Zealand’s Police’s latest recruitment drive, using positive stories to cast a job on the beat in new light.

Acting Canterbury District Commander, Superintendent Andy McGregor, says the new recruitment initiative was inspired not only by emergency responders' activities during the quake, but by the number of young people who donated their time and resources to clean up the city.

"It really reinforced that many young people are passionate about helping their community in times of need. Police are keen to tap into that passion and demonstrate that policing offers a career choice which is both exciting and rewarding.

"We understand that New Zealand's brightest young people are in high demand. As such, NZ Police needs to pitch its career in a different way," says McGregor.

Constable Yoshimizu (“Yoshi”) is being recognised for his work liaising with families of the Japanese victims who were killed in the CTV building, while Constable Kingi is depicted rescuing a man who had been struck by falling scaffolding.

Similar art installations have already been undertaken in Auckland and Wellington in an effort to tell extraordinary police stories in local communities. Together with the Christchurch stories, the artwork will form the basis of a nationwide outdoor, reality TV and online recruitment drive.