Police honoured for service and bravery

THIRTY-ONE police officers from the Far South Coast local area command were honoured for their service and four commended for bravery at a ceremony at the Batemans Bay Community Centre on February 11.

Awards of the National Medal, 15 years service were presented to Senior Constable Darren Cruden, Senior Constable Michael Horne, Senior Constable Darryl Redman

Senior Constable Gary Traynor and Senior Constable Kevin Brown.

The award of the National Medal, 1st Clasp for 25 years Service was presented to

Sergeant Richard Strong

The National Medal is awarded to members of the New South Wales Police, the Ambulance Service, the Fire Brigade, the Australian Correctional Service, the Australian Protective Service and the State Emergency Services, who have completed fifteen years long service with their organisation.

In the case of the New South Wales Police Service, this medal replaces the police Long Service and Good Conduct medal which was awarded to police who had completed 22 years police service with good conduct.

The National Medal is awarded for 15 years of "Diligent Police Service" and is only awarded after a detailed review of the nominee's service history.

The New South Wales Police Medal, which recognises ten or more years of diligent and ethical service, was presented to former Superintendent John Ambler, 30 years, Inspector Shane Box, 20 years, Sergeant Colin Bell, 25 years, Sergeant Robert Moore 20 years, Sergeant John Groake, 20 years and Senior Constable Sue Williamson 20 years.

The New South Wales Police Medal is awarded after a detailed review of the nominee's service history.

The clasp to Medal denotes the length of ethical and diligent service.

The medal was approved by the Minister of Police and the New South Wales Police Commissioner, for issue on February 5, 2002.

An Australian manufacturer strikes the Medal from copper and coats it with nickel.

The crown of the sovereign, nemesis eagle and the crest of the State of New South Wales are struck on the face of the medal with the words 'NSW Police - Diligent and ethical service' on the outer edge.

The recipient's name is stamped on the back

The medal is suspended by a ribbon, which consists of five vertical blue stripes, representing the colours of the NSW Police uniform.

The medal has a presentation box and is accompanied by a miniature and ribbon bar.

The miniature medal is worn on mess dress on formal occasions and the ribbon bar is worn daily on uniform.

Commissioner's commendations were presented to Senior Sergeant Ross Wilkinson,

Senior Constable Michael Horne and Senior Constable Geoffrey Bills.

These officers are awarded the Commissioner's Commendation for their actions at the Harris-Daishowa Wood Chip Mill on April 19, 2002.

On that date these police were called to the Harris Daishowa Mill, in relation to a protest that had commenced against the loading of a ship for Japan.

On arrival, they were confronted by a number of protestors who had taken up positions blocking the loading wharf and the entrance to the pier.

The ship was in harbour to load wood chips and the protestors were impeding this process by climbing the loading boom.

Senior Constable Wilkinson, as Acting Sergeant, assumed command of the situation until a more senior officer could arrive.

He deployed the available officers to contain the spread of the protest, and commenced negotiations with the leaders of the protest to re-open the wharf.

At this time, it became clear that protestors had attached themselves to the load structure, including one individual who had scaled the structure, a height of 90 metres above the ground.

Police became aware that the load boom attached to the ship in harbour, was causing the loading structure to move, and that the actions of the protestors, were endangering lives.

Forty knot winds were also forecast within a short period of time.

These officers climbed the structure and sought to remove the protestors. Despite the danger to all persons, the protestors struggled and the officers were forced to restrain them and carry them down to safety.

By their actions, Senior Constable Wilkinson, Horne, and Bills displayed courage, professionalism, and responsibility to the community in a volatile situation and they are highly commended by the Commissioner.

The following Commendations are in recognition of the courage and meritorious actions displayed when these officers were involved in the

sea rescue operations for the Sydney to Hobart race fleet during extreme weather conditions encountered near Twofold bay on 27 & 28 December 1998.

Sergeant Keith Tillman, Senior Constable Bradley Ross, Senior Constable Kerriane Markulin and Senior Constable Jacko O'Brien were presented with Commissioner's commendations for the Sydney to Hobart rescue.

Sergeant Tillman manned the Command post during this period, and for much of the time was the only controlling authority in the south eastern area of Australia. His organisational ability in co-ordinating rescue authorities, willingness to make critical rescue decisions, and his dedication to duty, has resulted in the saving of numerous sailors.

Sergeant Tillman later joined Police Launch Eden to carry out, searches and off shore tows in heavy sea conditions.

By his actions, Sergeant Tillman showed professionalism and responsibility to the community in a prolonged, stressful situation and he is highly commended by the Commissioner of Police.

Senior Constable Bradley Ross was the only crew of the police launch Eden.

His contribution to a search undertaken within Twofold Bay at night, under heavy sea conditions, representing a real risk to safety, is acknowledged.

Senior Constable Ross later undertook the successful offshore rescue of an injured crewman aboard the yacht "Renegade" in equally dangerous circumstances. On completion of this mission, he carried out further offshore searches resulting in lengthy tows of damaged yachts.

By his actions, Senior Constable Ross displayed courage, professionalism, and responsibility to the community in a hazardous situation.

Senior Constable Kerrianne Markulin, although only partly trained in marine operations, volunteered as crew of the Police Launch Eden.

Her contribution to the successful offshore rescue of an injured crewman aboard the yacht "Renegade" in open sea and weather conditions representing a real risk to life is acknowledged.

By her actions, Senior Constable Markulin displayed courage, professionalism, and responsibility to the community in a hazardous situation.

She is highly commended by the Commissioner of Police.

Although untrained in maritime operations, Senior Constable O'Brien volunteered as crew of the police launch Eden.

His contribution to a search in Twofold Bay for yachts in distress, undertaken at night under heavy sea conditions representing a risk to safety is acknowledged.

Senior Constable Peter Gelme was awarded a Commissioner's Commendation in recognition of the courage and meritorious service displayed when detaining an aggressive offender in possession of a variety of weapons including a large knife, during a domestic violence assault at Wilcannia on September 4, 1999.

Senior Constable Brett Graham was also awarded a Commissioner's Commendation for recognition of courage and devotion to duty shown during the arrest of a known armed offender who had taken hostages during a siege at Moruya on 19 January 2003.

Region Certificates were presented to Senior Constable Anthony Peterson, Sergeant Greg Wilson and Senior Constable Phillip Hoye.

Local Area Commander's Citations were given to Inspector Shane Box, Sergeant Robert Moore, Constable Scott White, Constable Danny Schmidt, Probationary Constable Jason Williams, Constable Scott Britt, Senior Constable Alan Morton

and Senior Constable David Smart.

Inspector Shane Box's certificate was presented to him for the protest at Harris - Daishowa Wood Chip Mill.

He attended the scene and assumed command from then Acting Sergeant Wilkinson and assessed the situation.

His assessment, based on information from the Mill operators, and the deteriorating weather conditions, was that the protestors were in serious danger.

Once the 40 knot winds anticipated by the Bureau of Meteorology arrived, the loading boom would smash against the ship, killing or injuring any person still on the structure.

Inspector Box made the decision to remove the protestors by force if necessary., Senior Constables Wilkinson, Horne, and Bills volunteered to remove the protestors.

Award of Certificates of Appreciation to Members of the Public and Volunteers in Policing was presented to Mr Peter Constable and Mr Michael Noehrenberg and volunteers in policing, Mr Donald Bull, Mrs Sandra Creighton and Ms Malcolm Elmslie.

Mr Constable's award was for his help on September 18, 2003, when a serious criminal case at Bega District Court was in danger of being dismissed unless vital evidence could be obtained from a video tape.

Insufficient time existed to have this evidence processed into a usage format by the technical branches of the NSW Police in Sydney.

Mr Peter Constable, an expert in video procedures living in Bemboka, travelled to Batemans Bay at the request of police and processed the video in time for use at court.

The evidence obtained was directly responsible for a conviction being obtained.

Mr Constable undertook a difficult and time consuming task at a moment's notice to assist police, and went out of his way to help the community.