It’s an uncertain time for staff at St Marys police station.
But what is certain is that the men and women who serve and protect residents in St Marys Local Area Command deserve recognition.
Nominations are now open for the ninth – and possibly last – St Marys Police Officer of the Year Awards.
Organised by St Marys and Wallacia Rotary clubs, the awards call on the community to put forward their choice for the area’s best cops.
At the event’s launch on Tuesday, St Marys Rotary secretary Chris Miller said future awards were uncertain with a potential merger of St Marys and Penrith LACs looming.
Mr Miller said the show must go on, for the sake of the officers.
“Over the nine years we’ve had a turnover of $82,000, of which we’ve been able to give $39,000 to Police Legacy,” he said.
“We’re very pleased to be able to do that.”
Former St Marys Rotary president Phillip Martin, a retired police officer of 38 years, spoke of the “far more complex” environment today’s police officers face.
“Police officers today face many challenges that requires the police organisation to keep reinventing itself to stay ahead of the criminal class,” he said.
Penrith mayor John Thain paid tribute to local police who “never know what you’re going to get when you knock on that door”.
“These awards showcase the men and women who day-in, day-out do our community proud, and whose work allow the rest of us to go about our lives knowing we are protected,” Cr Thain said.
“Without doubt, the police force is one of the most demanding and dangerous jobs you can enter.
“The work of police men and women don’t often receive the recognition they deserve.”
Inspector Branko Kubecka said the awards had seen many worthy winners since its inception in 2009.
“While we’re faced with new and difficult policing challenges on a daily basis, we’re confident with the calibre of officers we have here at St Marys, we’ll once again find worthy winners this year,” he said.
Acting Superintendent Inspector Barry Vincent said St Marys police were overwhelmed by the ongoing support of those involved with the awards.
“Police officers by nature do not seek out praise or awards,” he said.
“These awards provide tangible recognition for our officers that what they do in the community is vital and that it is valued by the community.
“Our officers can sometimes forget that.”
How to nominate:
- Call or write to St Marys police station, 9677 7499 or 38-42 King Street, St Marys