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Just prior to Christmas, with a team from the Association, I toured the Northern Region to thank our members and their families for their outstanding efforts during the numerous bushfire emergencies across the Northern Region, and we are looking to attend the New England region in the New Year.
As police officers, we’re no strangers to challenging times but this summer the pressure has been relentless. The endurance of regional communities, already feeling the impact of drought, has been further stretched by the bushfires.
All areas of the Northern Region, from Sydney to the border, including the New England, experienced massive bushfires where members’ homes were threatened and still they continued carrying out their duties with professionalism and efficiency.
The NSW bushfires have impacted on every available resource in the force, from general duties officers working in local bushfire affected communities, to search and rescue crews, arson investigators, and members from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command deployed to the affected areas, through to senior officers performing key roles in Emergency Operations centres and forensic police who have the gruesome tasks of post-mortem evidence gathering.
This has truly been a time when all hands were on deck. It has highlighted the special job we do as NSW police officers, that is very often taken for granted.
PANSW organisers assisted in delivering equipment from Sydney and the Regional Offices to the members on the ground and provided advice on workplace safety, welfare and entitlements.
It was an honour and a privilege to sit down with our members and their families to have a yarn in their own backyard. They have displayed enormous fortitude and will continue doing so in the weeks to come.
I’m relieved that at the time of writing, no members have lost their properties, although the fire threat has come uncomfortably close. Experts are saying that conditions in NSW are unprecedented and there is no reprieve in sight. We will be monitoring as this fire emergency continues.
Members, you may have seen reported comments by the Chief Commissioner of LECC Michael Adams, QC, insinuating that the NSW Police Force is being dogged by significant corruption.
We were outraged by those comments and, in the absence of significant evidential proof, called on Mr Adams to withdraw them.
The tireless work of Strikeforce Raptor and other police has brought the bikie gangs to their knees, disrupting their illegal activities and going after gang members and associates at every available opportunity.
The comments made by Mr Adams are an insult to these hard-won gains.
What confidence can we as police have that LECC will operate without bias with Mr Adams in charge? His position is untenable.
The PANSW Biennial Conference will be held from 18–20 May in Wollongong.
We urge you to become involved and either consider nominating yourself as a Delegate to conference, where the agenda for the next two years will be set or participate in the election process to ensure all members are being represented.
As the professional representatives of NSW police officers, for the past 100 years we’ve been the voice that speaks out for our members when no one else will.
The creation of the Police Association of NSW was a hard fought battle.
In 1920, hours of duty were unlimited, pay was deplorable, and police had no right to appeal decisions made regarding discipline or promotion.
It took the Acting Premier, Chief Secretary James Dooley, MLA and Inspector General of Police, James Mitchell, to intervene and allow the creation of the Police Association of NSW, when many in government spoke against this.
Police officers initially feared joining, until Mr Dooley personally reassured members that joining the Association would not be a black mark against them.
Since then, each generation of Association leaders has built on the gains of the previous ones. This has allowed us to evolve into the influential organisation we are today.
Join in our celebrations throughout the year which culminates in a gala dinner on 8 September 2020. And look out for a fascinating book on our 100-year history by author Geoff Armstrong.
Above all, let’s stay united and strong as we look towards the future challenges.
Read the latest headlines and news coverage of Policing issues in the media on the Headlines page.
See PANSW statements on a variety of policing issues issues on the Media Releases Page.
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