Police unveil rainbow-coloured patrol car
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A police car will stand out more than ever as a one-of-a-kind rainbow-coloured patrol car makes its debut for the Auckland Pride Festival.
The rainbow car was created to celebrate the police force's commitment to diversity and to acknowledge the important relationship between the police and the country's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) communities.
The vibrant car will be on show at the Pride Parade and at associated Pride festival events.
Inspector Tracy Phillips said the police had "come a long way".
They had gone from attempting to recruit the same kind of person to encouraging diversity in order to better represent the community, she said.
Inspector Phillips said the spark of inspiration for the car's new look came from the warm welcome given to the police's Te Reo Pirihimana car which was designed to support Maori Language Week.
She put in one call and the rest is pride history.
In a first for the NZ police the colourful car will be flanked in the Pride Parade by the Police Commissioner.
An event which will be particularly memorable for the commissioner as it falls on his wedding anniversary.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the rainbow car was a visible representation of the police value of diversity.
"As an organisation we look to encourage staff to 'use who they are' not 'lose who you are' when becoming a police officer," he said.
"Therefore it's important to encourage staff to show pride in the communities they represent.
"We are a diverse organisation and I'm proud of the work we've done over recent years to build relationships with the LGBTIQ+ community.
"I also encourage members of the LGBTIQ+ community to join us as future Police recruits as part of our current recruitment drive."
Uniformed Police staff will march alongside the rainbow car at the Pride Parade on February 17.
The pride car was not a permanent addition to the Police fleet, as the rainbow livery was removable.
The car will be returned to circulation with standard Police livery after the Auckland and Wellington Pride Parades.