Terry Holland plays the role of an offender during a taser demonstration at the Nelson Police open day on Saturday. Photo: Phillip Rollo.

Man tasered in central Nelson

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Thousands of keen locals, young and old, took a rare opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at the Nelson Police Station on Saturday.

Children were posing for photographs in police hats and vests, took a trip through the cellblock, watched on as a pretend offender was tasered, met the police dog, ran through an obstacle course, and were toured around the city in the back of a police car. All of those activities and more were part of a nationwide police open day, where 12 stations opened their doors to the community.

Area commander Steve Greally estimated somewhere between 5000 and 6000 people visited the Nelson station during the four hours, and put his support behind the event happening again. “It really surpassed my expectations,” he says. “It was just a great day and the sun was out, which was fantastic. I think people got to see the police in a different light, and saw different aspects of what we do and how we do it, which was really educational.”

Steve says the event did a lot to build the trust in police and strengthen the already positive relationship they have with the community. “It’s about better engaging with the community that we have and I think people realize we are just part of the community itself, we’re not separate. We’re community members who have a job to do.”