THE region’s top cop, Assistant Commissioner Carlene York, is leaving her base in Newcastle to take over the police force’s human resources department.
Ms York will spend her last day at the region’s headquarters at Newcastle just before Easter and will take over the reins in her new Sydney offices on April 1 – 33 years to the day after she first joined the force.
The 52-year-old has spent more than three years looking after about 2500 officers across the northern region, which stretches from the Hawkesbury River to the Queensland border and includes the New England and North West.
And she had no hesitation in naming her crowning glory while in the position.
“Malcolm Naden – there was such a high expectation to get him, such a challenge,” Ms York said of the arrest of the fugitive.
“It has been the highlight of my whole career, not just my time at the northern region.”
Ms York came to Newcastle after a stint as the head of the force’s Forensic Services Group and quickly tackled some of the biggest issues within the region, including massive levels of long-term sick leave and under-resourced local area commands burdened with crime.
Her success in pulling back the sick leave numbers while improving local area command figures may have swayed senior police to have her take on the human resources role.
“When I first came up here the commitment of officers to their individual communities was such a wonderful thing and something I had not witnessed a lot of,” Ms York said.
“They are continuing to make a difference in their own communities.”
Ms York said the sick leave lists, together with being head of the operational and emergency management of natural disasters and big crime incidents, had been her biggest challenges during the tenure.
Her replacement will not be known for several months, with the position yet to even be advertised.