Rotary Clubs of NSW 2015 NSW Police Officer Awards

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.54 p.m.]: I bring to the attention of the House the Rotary Clubs of NSW 2015 NSW Police Officer Awards, which were held last week. It is worth noting that among senior and junior police officers who received awards or were nominated as finalists, a number of them were from local area commands [LACs] in the Prospect electorate. I congratulate the New South Wales Police Officer of the Year from the Field Operations Local Area Command, Detective Sergeant James Asimacopoulos from the Kings Cross Local Area Command, which is obviously outside Prospect. From the Fairfield Local Area Command Detective Sergeant Andrew Barnes was a finalist in the NSW Rotary Customer Service Excellence Officer of the Year Award for his outstanding service to the local community and his actions as listed in the awards:

In December 2009, Det Sgt Andrew Barnes led an investigation into an horrific multiple homicide that occurred in Wetherill Park. From the very beginning, he went above and beyond to provide immeasurable support, care and respect for the victim's family.

During the three-year investigation and judicial process into the crime, Det Sgt Barnes remained in constant contact with the grieving family, showing the utmost determination, care, dignity, decency and honesty. The matter concluded in October 2014 but he remains in contact with the victim's family.

"As with many families who experience such an unspeakable crime, we are still battered and bruised nearly five years on," a family member wrote. "We do, however, have some hope and sense of belief that there is good in the world. Sgt Barnes has been a vital part of our healing and we ask that the respect and compassion he offered to be recognised."

Those are amazing words from victims of crime after a very sad event. Detective Sergeant Barnes is to be congratulated on this recognition. A number of other people were nominated for these awards. Amongst the nominees under the Field Operations Local Area Command Police Officer of the year were Senior Constable Rabii Haddad from Holroyd Local Area Command and Sergeant John Purcell from Wetherill Park Radio Electronics Section. Under the NSW Rotary Community Awards was Sergeant Shawn Harkins from the Forensic Services Group based in Pemulwuy.

A number of people from the Blacktown Local Area Command were nominated in the NSW Rotary Customer Service Excellence Officer of the Year category including Constable Anita Golebiowski, Constable Darren Boyd, Frances New, Judith Dibden, Sergeant Yvette Smith, Senior Constable Deborah Lee, Senior Constable Doug Talbot, Senior Constable Elyse Houldin and Senior Constable Nathan McDonald. There were also nominees from the Fairfield Local Area Command: Constable Andrew Powrie, Constable Matthew Green, Sergeant Andrew Barnes, Senior Constable Korolyn Bottle, Senior Constable Matthew Green as well as Jessie Davis from the Forensic Services Group. There were nominees from a number of LACs for the NSW Rotary Volunteer of the Year including Frances New from Blacktown Local Area Command. There were nominees from a number of LACs for the NSW Rotary Police Employee of the Year including Dani Coghlan from Holroyd Local Area Command and Judith Dibden from Blacktown Local Area Command.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of women in policing in New South Wales, which was also acknowledged. The first two female police officers in New South Wales were Lillian May Armfield and Maude Rhodes. They were awarded the Paul Harris fellowship in recognition of their service over 100 years ago. It is wonderful to see women taking the lead in the NSW Police Force. Rotary clubs in New South Wales do amazing work, as do the police. We must acknowledge the work that they do. I congratulate the organisers on the awards night. I thank the officers of the NSW Police Force, who every day face danger to ensure the safety of our community.

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