Chris Skelton / Stuff
Shannon Mudge (left) has $ 40,000 in Whanau Ora funding to help victims of domestic violence.
A private security company using the white ribbon logo without permission received $ 40,000 from Whānau Ora to help victims of domestic violence.
TRT Security, run by Shannon Mudge of a Housing Corp unit in Aranui, claims to be a business (it is not) and has not obtained police approval.
Mudge was previously associated with free night patrols in Lyttelton in 2019. He and his current colleague Moana Schenkel wear a black outfit and a beating vest, similar to the uniform of the Armed Offender Police Team.
Whānau Ora’s commissioning agency Te Pūtahitanga, which provided the funding when TRT was not a business, charitable trust or incorporated company, said it was confident its process had been solid.
TRT was using the logo of anti-domestic violence group White Ribbon on flyers without permission, but removed it and is discussing the matter with White Ribbon director Rob McCann. On its Facebook page, TRT presents itself as a company with leaders.
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The company has yet to receive a recommendation from an established body dealing with victims of domestic violence. She meets with agencies to promote her services.
Mudge said the $ 40,000 would be used to support a free service to victims of domestic violence and their whānau.
The “Whānau Support and Protection Service” would organize transportation of people to and from places like the hospital and court.
“It’s for people coming out of volatile situations to… spaces where they’re safer and away from abuse,” Mudge said.
“I’m trying to create it on the amount. I go around different agencies to try to see if this works for us.
“We don’t do the police’s job so much. We are filling a gap.
Mudge acknowledged that the TRT uniform can be a little intimidating, but said when people realized the reason for the equipment they understood.
“With the line of work we’re in, anything can go wrong. It’s going to protect us and our vital organs… We’re not trying to be intimidating… If you see us, we seem to know what we’re doing.
Mudge said he has participated in physical confrontations three or four times, but learned defense tactics and lockdown holds through martial arts training.
He had not asked Schenkel about her background, but said she was going through a screening process.
He had apologized to White Ribbon for using his logo in flyers.
“I had no idea we weren’t allowed to use it on paper because it was everywhere.”
The name Tactical Response Team has been abbreviated as TRT Security, Mudge said. It aimed to convey “we do work with different tactics as a team”.
He didn’t realize that the company’s Facebook page referred to his business as a business and would have it corrected.
“Someone is running things behind the scenes,” he said, “It’s like a silent thing.” He declined to name the person.
Te Pūtahitanga Managing Director Helen Leahy said TRT Security’s candidacy was “in line with our goals as the Whānau Ora commissioning agency.”
“We are confident in the process led by the independent review committee that reviews all of our Wave applications. “
A business coach would guide Mudge through all the legal options to further establish herself, she said.
White Ribbon director Rob McCann said the organization prefers private companies to ask permission and “our blessing” before using the White Ribbon logo.
His discussions with Mudge had so far been affable, he said.