Hunter Valley Local Area Command recognises outstanding service at Muswellbrook ceremony

DEDICATION, empathy and bravery were recognised at the Hunter Valley Local Area Command (LAC) Awards ceremony, at the Muswellbrook Shire Council chambers, on Tuesday.

More than 20 personnel accepted a variety of accolades for their significant contributions to the state in maintaining the peace and good order of society.

Senior Constable Anthony Hopley also received the Commissioners Commendation for Courage following the prevention of a suicide attempt at Denman in May, 2016.

He responded to a call about a person who had doused himself in petrol and was threatening suicide in the rear yard of a private residence. 

Senior Constable Hopley saw that the man was in possession of a cigarette lighter and engaged him in conversation for approximately 45 minutes.

When the person attempted to squeeze the lighter and, with little regards for his own safety, the officer grabbed the lighter, holding it with both hands, before a scuffle began with the man who made several further attempts to ignite himself.

Other police soon assisted and used a fire extinguisher to douse the lighter, while the male was arrested and conveyed to hospital.

Commander Hunter Valley LAC Superintendent Steven Clarke said the ceremony was an important day on the LAC calendar.

“I must admit, the officers receive the awards begrudgingly,” he explained.

“They don’t do this job for the fame or glory.

“Residents’ safety is at the forefront of their minds on a daily basis.

“Police place their own lives at risk in their attempt to prevent crime and disorder.

“Our admin staff is just as vital as the officers themselves.

“They have a selfless devotion to help others, too.

“Thanks must also go to the families, who offer so much support.”

Northern Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell APM reiterated Superintendent Clarke’s sentiments.

“Hunter Valley is certainly a diverse command for policing,” he said.

“I have the greatest respect for country officers – it can be a challenging and heart-breaking profession.

“It takes commitment, compassion and courage to perform their duties.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be in Muswellbrook [today].”

2017 recipients –

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and 20-year clasp to the NSW Police medal: Sergeant Elizabeth Simos

National Police Service Medal, the National Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the 15-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Sergeant Ryan Froml

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service, the National Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the 15-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Sergeant Linden Knight

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the 3rd Clasp to the NSW Police medal for 25 years ethical and diligent service: Senior Constable Robert Biles

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the 15-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Senior Constable Michael Power

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the 15-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Senior Constable Kylie Smith

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service, National Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the 15-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Detective Senior Constable Andrew Nichols

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the National Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service: Senior Constable Andrew Wright

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service, the National Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service and the 15-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Detective Senior Constable Benjamin Yeung

National Police Service Medal for 15 years diligent and ethical service: Former Sergeant Wayne Froml

1st Clasp to the National Medal for 25 years ethical and diligent service and the 20 and 25-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Sergeant Paul Lighezzolo

NSW Police Medal for 10 years diligent and ethical service: Senior Constable Jason Lambert

NSW Police Medal for 10 years diligent and ethical service: Senior Constable Justin Knight

NSW Police Medal for 10 years diligent and ethical service: Detective Senior Constable Robert Ayscough

30-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Senior Constable Neal Bryant

25-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Sergeant Jamie Kain

15-year clasp to the NSW Police Medal: Senior Constable Tanya Williams

NSW Police Medallion for 10 years diligent and ethical service and the 15-year lapel pin to the NSW Police Medallion and the COP long service award for 15 years service: Brenda Wade

NSW Police Medallion for 10 years diligent and ethical service: Rebecca Hinze

30-year lapel pin to the NSW Police Medallion: Deborah Townsend

15-year lapel pin to the NSW Police Medallion and COP long service award for 15 years service: Maureen Veitch

Commissioners Commendation for Courage: Senior Constable Anthony Hopley

Australia 2014 G20 Clasp: Senior Constable Shaun Cloake

Region Commander’s Awards –

Northern Region Certificate of Merit for participation in Strike Force Durkin: Sergeant Elizabeth Simos, Senior Constable Justin Knight

Hunter Valley Local Area Commander’s Awards –

Hunter Valley LAC Certificate of Merit: Detective Senior Constable Benjamin Yeung, Senior Constable Bradley Williams, Constable Jai Bellman

Hunter Valley LAC Certificate of Merit and a Blue Mountains LAC Citation: Senior Constable Dean Kulk