Each year, Rotary Clubs of NSW and the NSW Police Force recognise professional excellence and dedication of service by officers and civilian staff at the NSW Police Officer of the Year awards.
PANSW would like to congratule all nominees and winners of the 2019 Rotary Police Officer of the Year Awards for their dedicated commitment to community, command and organisation.
Rotary Police Officer of the Year: Leading Senior Constable Amanda Vidler
NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller APM, announced LSC Amanda Vidler as the Rotary Police Officer of the Year and also Regional NSW Field Operations Police Officer of the Year.
Leading Senior Constable Vidler served as Richmond Police District’s Police Rescue Coordinator, where she managed a team of eight officers through several emergencies. She received a unit citation for her bravery and rescue response during the Lismore floods of 2016 and 2017.
Leading Senior Constable Vidler was also one of the first officers in the state to undertake remote pilot training as an NSW Police Force drone operator.
As well as her dedication to policing, Leading Senior Constable Vidler is a volunteer with the State Emergency Service (SES) and is the current Deputy Controller in Lismore.
Commissioner Fuller congratulated Leading Senior Constable Vidler for her devotion to her work and the wider community.
“Leading Senior Constable Vidler has shown incredible passion for policing and protecting the community in every facet of her career,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“Not only is she an incredibly capable police officer, she has the knowledge and skills to perform specialist roles in marine rescue, bomb appraisal, land search, and drone operation.
“To Leading Senior Constable Vidler, and all officers nominated this year, thank you all for your dedication to the job and the community of New South Wales,” Commissioner Fuller said.
Winners in the other categories include:
Metropolitan Field Operations Police Officer of the Year: Constable Michael Faragalla
Constable Michael Faragalla is an enthusiastic police officer who consistently displays exceptional time management and communication skills while performing his duties.
On Christmas Day in 2017, Constable Faragalla was one of the first emergency service workers on the scene of a self-harm incident in Doonside. In a difficult and emotional situation, Constable Faragalla helped to console family members and maintain the crime scene for further examination.
More recently, Constable Faragalla was involved in the arrest of several members of a criminal gang. His proactivity provided investigators with lines of inquiry that led to several swift arrests.
Investigations and Counter Terrorism Police Officer of the Year: Sergeant Glenn Williams
Sergeant Glenn Williams has been a police officer for 32 years and is a highly skilled forensic investigator with expertise in fire and post-blast investigations, disaster victim identification and blood pattern analysis.
Sergeant Williams has been recognised and nationally accredited as an expert in the methodology of crime scene investigation as a result of his significant contribution to forensic investigative duties. He is also trained in wildfire examination, vehicle identification, crime scene reconstruction, clandestine grave reconstruction and emergency response to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents.
During his career, Sergeant Williams has taken carriage of or been involved in countless scene investigations, including high-profile homicide investigations. In 2009, Sergeant Williams was deployed following the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria, and more recently led the forensic investigation into skeletal remains at Sugar Loaf Mountain, police shooting investigation at Glendale, the deaths of three children at a house fire in Singleton and a murder investigation at Stockton Beach.
Corporate Services Police Officer of the Year: Senior Sergeant Wayne Hill
Senior Sergeant Wayne Hill is one of the longest serving Driver Training Instructors in Australia and has been an integral member of the Police Driver Training team for 30 years.
Since 2006, Senior Sergeant Hill has held the role as Head Teacher at the NSW Police Force for driver training education. In this role, he is responsible for the curriculum development of all 18 police driver training courses to ensure they are relevant to on-the-job requirements and meet best practice standards.
Senior Sergeant Hill has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to police driver training and may well be regarded as attaining the worldwide benchmark in the field.
Rotary Community Award: Senior Constable Sheree Gray
Senior Constable Sheree Gray has performed her duties as Youth Liaison and Crime Prevention Officer at Hunter Valley Police District for the past 18 years. During this time, she has built a strong connection with the local community and is an ambassador for promoting partnerships between police and the public.
An initiative Senior Constable Gray assisted in developing is the ‘My Law Week’ program, which began as lectures presented to students on drugs, alcohol and internet offences and has evolved into a theatrical performance that involves students roleplaying police, solicitors and magistrates. The program has now become part of the local school’s curriculum.
During her career, Senior Constable Gray also helped establish the ‘Red Door Community Kitchen’, the ‘License to Drive’ program, the ‘Kids in our Community’ program, the ‘Next of Kin’ program and the annual Graffiti Removal Day.
Police Employee of the Year: Ritesh Singh
Mr Singh joined the NSW Police Force in 1995 and worked at the Radio Communications and Fleet Management Command before transferring to St Marys Police Station in 2017, as the Multicultural Community Liaison Officer (MCLO).
Mr Singh is a vibrant and enthusiastic employee who works tirelessly to strengthen police relationships and establish networks in the local community and target the underlying cause of crime in the multicultural community.
He has mentored MCLOs from other commands and has assisted with several criminal investigations. Mr Singh has also participated in many public engagements with stakeholders and the community including local councils, the University of Western Sydney, TAFE NSW, CityRail, Don Bosco Youth Centre and Nepean Multicultural Access.
Mr Singh has been selected to sit on the Commissioner’s Police Multicultural Advisory Council and is well respected among the community and his colleagues.
Customer Service Excellence Award: Senior Constable Michael Crooks
Senior Constable Michael Crooks has been recognised for his service and dedication to the community following his response to a home invasion in December 2018.
Senior Constable Crooks kept in contact with the family involved during the incident and throughout the following arrest and court proceedings. The trauma endured by the public during such incidents can be extreme, and on this occasion Senior Constable Crooks has been personally recognised by the victims for his professionalism, understanding and empathy.
He is a credit to the NSW Police Force and his command at Wollongong Police District.
Irene Juergens (IJ) Fellowship Award Sworn Category: Senior Constable Holly Mills
Senior Constable Holly Mills is a Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO) at Blacktown Police Area Command, recognised for her determination and dedication to assisting the community.
During her career, Senior Constable Mills was responsible for assisting a woman and her newborn baby through a domestic-violence incident, which resulted in charges for the offender. She has also been recognised for her role in assisting an elderly couple and their son through court proceedings, which resulted in a number of charges being laid against the offender and a 14-month sentence.
Senior Constable Mills has been recognised for her exceptional work ethic and treats all people with respect and dignity.
Irene Juergens (IJ) Fellowship Award Unsworn Category: Veronica Millar
Ms Millar is the policy officer who manages the International Students portfolio. She is responsible for developing crime prevention materials to support the reporting of sexual assaults and other gender-based crimes for students with limited English, without immediate family support and often with a deep distrust of law enforcement organisations.
Ms Millar facilitated the student ambassador program, which has recruited 22 international students at university campuses across NSW to act as local ambassadors and to encourage communication between students and police. These students also encourage others to report crime, provide information to police, and to be involved in community activities.
More recently, Ms Millar has been involved in water safety campaigns, designing crime prevention materials with international students and raising awareness of phone scams targeting the student community.
As the point of contact for consulates, Ms Millar has provided support above and beyond her role to assist victims and consular staff during investigations.
Volunteer of the Year Award: Ian Martin
Mr Martin has completed more than 5000 hours of community and volunteer service at the Traffic and Highway Patrol since November 2011.
He is well known for his unmatched technical knowledge of mobile devices, volunteering to assist the command with setting up and updating all devices, as well as resolving any technical issues with the provider.
Mr Martin has also assisted the command with the farewells for four retiring officers, cooking up a feast on the BBQ. He is a constant support for the command, helping with community events, supporting Street Smart initiatives with NSW schools, and the inaugural ‘Coffee with a Cop’ function.
A true volunteer at heart, Mr Martin also donates his time at two local community centres, referees for the Sydney West Rugby Union, and cares for his beautiful wife, Ula.