Po­lice hon­oured after a ‘chal­leng­ing year’

The Northern Star - - NEWS - Clau­dia Jam­bor clau­dia.jam­bor@north­ern­star.com.au

IT’S a thank­less task our women and men in blue em­brace ev­ery­day: serv­ing and protecting our com­mu­nity, stamp­ing out crime and re­spond­ing in times of cri­sis.

Yes­ter­day was their day to be cel­e­brated for their hard work day in day out.

More than 60 re­tired and ac­tive po­lice of­fi­cers and staff from across the Rich­mond and Tweed/By­ron Lo­cal Area Com­mands were awarded hon­ours for polic­ing and ser­vice.

Act­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent Ni­cole Bruce stood be­fore the 100-strong crowd at Lis­more Work­ers Club and re­flected on what she de­scribed was a chal­leng­ing year since their last cer­e­mony.

Shark at­tacks, proac­tive polic­ing ef­forts – such as a 61.8% in­crease in per­sonal and ve­hi­cle searches – as well as ma­jor op­er­a­tions were some of the big events Act­ing Supt Bruce touched on.

What started as a lo­cal op­er­a­tion at Nim­bin, Strike Force Cuppa grew to involve more than 100 po­lice. The op­er­a­tion in­cluded: 11 search war­rants, 26 ar­rests, 87 charges, 26 foren­sic pro­ce­dures and more than $1 mil­lion in drugs seized.

Act­ing Supt Bruce said Cuppa high­lighted the force was “win­ning the bat­tle” on drug abuse around the re­gion.

She recog­nised present fam­ily and friends, who she said were crit­i­cal for sup­port­ing of­fi­cers “through the con­stant grind of polic­ing and ser­vic­ing the com­mu­nity in times of cri­sis.”

One of the big­gest hon­ours of the cer­e­mony was the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Aus­tralian Po­lice Medal to Com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Greg Martin.

The exclusive medal recog­nises dis­tin­guished ser­vice by a mem­ber of the po­lice force.

Com­man­der Supt Martin was awarded the hon­our by NSW Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Michael Fuller, who said award­ing the medal was “one of the great­est hon­ours” as com­mis­sioner.

Seven­teen of­fi­cers were awarded the Na­tional Po­lice Ser­vice Medal, which recog­nises po­lice with at least 15 years ser­vice and their ded­i­ca­tion to their com­mu­nity.

For­mer Lis­more of­fi­cer, Sgt Matthew Jacka, who died from can­cer last March, was posthu­mously awarded his third clasp, for 25 years ser­vice.

Close friends, Suzie Mul­herin and partner In­spec­tor Gary Cowan ac­cepted the award on be­half of Sgt Jacka’s fam­ily.

The force that sup­ports our po­lice were also recog­nised along­side of­fi­cers, with re­gion man­ager Shel­lie Smyth pre­sented the Long Ser­vice Award and Amie Walker hon­oured for 15 years volunteering in po­lice.

Bal­lina SES unit con­troller, Gerry Bur­nage, Bal­lina Shire Coun­cil, Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice and Coun­try En­ergy were for­mally recog­nised for their sup­port to po­lice dur­ing the Len­nox Head tor­nado in June 2010.


HON­OURED: Se­nior Con­sta­bles Me­gan Cook, Ni­cole and David Hill at the Rich­mond Lo­cal Area Com­mand's medals and awards pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mony at Lis­more Work­ers Club on Fri­day.

ABOVE: NSW Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Michael Fuller and Com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Greg Martin.

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