Star for in­jured of­fi­cer


Kwinana Courier - - News -

PORT Kennedy res­i­dent and for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer Christo­pher Smith (OAM) was bashed by bikies in Mount Law­ley in 1984.

He was 34 when he re­ceived the skull frac­tures that nearly killed him.

Luck­ily Mr Smith sur­vived, but it led to the end of his ca­reer as a po­lice of­fi­cer two years later.

Mr Smith was one of 78 West­ern Aus­tralian po­lice of­fi­cers honoured on Au­gust 4 with the newly in­tro­duced Po­lice Star Medal.

The medal recog­nises po­lice of­fi­cers who have died or were se­ri­ously in­jured in the line of duty.

“The Po­lice Com­mis­sioner apol­o­gised and said it (the award) was a long time com­ing,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s early days but it’s a start.

“The of­fi­cers now need mone­tary recog­ni­tion for what they lost.”

Mr Smith was a mar­ried fa­ther-of-four when he was in­jured.

The na­ture of his in­juries meant he was never able to take part in paid full-time work again.

He was able to con­vert his su­per­an­nu­a­tion into a pen­sion, but he and his wife di­vorced.

Mr Smith said for peo­ple with post trau­matic stress dis­or­der, an award like this “can mean so much”.

“They’re the ones who need to be looked af­ter,” he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately some com­mit sui­cide; po­lice on duty don’t know what they’re go­ing to see.”

Mr Smith re­counted the time he at­tended a traf­fic ac­ci­dent.

The young mum who had been driv­ing hit a traf­fic embankment and flipped, killing her and her baby.

It was the mid­dle of sum­mer and their bod­ies had been in­side the car for a few hours by the time he ar­rived.

Mr Smith said he was happy for Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Karl O’Cal­laghan to present his medal as they used to go on pa­trol to­gether.

Forced re­tire­ment was not wasted on Mr Smith.

He has been a Jus­tice of the Peace for 29 years and vol­un­teered for or­gan­i­sa­tions in Rock­ing­ham.

Mr Smith was awarded the Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia (OAM) in 2010 and the Pride of Aus­tralia Medal 2014.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Karl O’Cal­laghan with Christo­pher Smith.

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