THE community celebrated the hard work and commitment of officers in the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command (LAC) yesterday.
A medals and awards ceremony was held yesterday to give recognition to police officers in the command who had gone above and beyond the call of duty.
More than 50 awards and medals were handed out to officers for their years of service, acts of courage and actions that had saved the lives of community members.
Acting superintendent Andrew Koutsoufis said the work of police in the region had helped bring crime statistics to “historic lows”.
“When others are at their worst, we have to be at our best,” he said.
“Today gives recognition to the service of both current and retired officers who serve the local community.”
In a heart-felt speech Mr Koutsoufis said he was “proud, humbled and honoured” to represent the officers of the Lake Illawarra LAC.
Among the many policemen and women who received accolades, Oak Flats resident sergeant Laurie Lucas was awarded three police medals for his service.
Senior constable Diana Martin from Albion Park was awarded LAC commendation for her response while off duty when she intervened in a violent fight between two males violent as McDonalds.
Detective Senior Constable Patrick Mortimer from Kiama received Certificate of Commendation for his role in Strike Force Cotterill.
Sergeant Brett White from Kiama received the National Police Service medal for his 27 years of service. Diane Roy, Robert Hackenberg, and Laurie Lucas were also presented with medals for 25 years of service and John Brown for 30 years at the command.
Commissioner Andrew Scipione APM awarded Robert Hackenberg, Paul Jones, Stewart Marsden, Kym Middleton, Brett White and Laurie Lucas with National Police Service Medal’s for their movements up the ranks while serving in NSW.
Commissioner Scipione expressed “deep appreciation” for the work of each individual who had served as a police officer in the state and said the Lake Illawarra LAC was “teamwork in action”.
“Today is a snapshot of a modern law enforcement team and it makes me proud as a commissioner to be here,” he said.
William James from Shellharbour was awarded a Commissioner's Certificate of merit for 23 thousand hours of volunteer service in the VIP program.
At the ceremony Father Geoffrey Allen, a former officer for 40 years, was welcomed as the new chaplain.