Jim Delaney has worn many hats in his 35 years in the police force.
The scene-of-crime officer (Soco) and fellow Porirua-based staff member Pa Rota were recently recognised for their long service.
Mr Delaney has spent 34 years of his career in the city where he grew up, which he says has made the work all the more personal. He is one of just two Soco in the Kapiti Mana district, which has meant plenty of busy days - but not always.
"It has been quiet lately [24 burglaries from Tawa to Peka Peka in the last three weeks], which is a good thing.
"My work has a lot of variety to it. You meet a lot of people. It's not nice going to certain scenes but it's very rewarding when our work leads to arrests."
A cadet who graduated on his 19th birthday, Mr Delaney could easily have taken another vocation.
"I was going to be a mechanic but I had a girlfriend - now my wife - who wanted to join the police.
"So I went down to have a look, filled out some papers and next thing I'm on the beat in Wellington.
"It was an exciting time for a young guy [in the late 1970s], the city was a lot different then."
Mr Delaney has had stints as a community constable in Titahi Bay, watch house keeper in Porirua and between 1993 and 2003 was a member of the specialist search group. They check for explosive devices and other dangerous items during events like Commonwealth Games, royal and heads-of-state visits, and other VIP tours.
He has been a Soco since 2003.
Kapiti Mana Police area commander John Price says Mr Delaney is a consummate professional and highly-experienced officer with a high forensic hit rate.
Other Kapiti Mana staff to receive medals were Warwick Gibbs (28 years), Roger Holford, Mike Tahere, Lance Herring (all 21 years) and David Wootton (14 years).
- Kapi-Mana News