Editorial: Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Praised: Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie and Senior Constable Stewart Judd. Photo: Peter Hardin
Praised: Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie and Senior Constable Stewart Judd. Photo: Peter Hardin

THEY’RE the men and women who run straight into the face of danger as everyone else runs away.

From domestic violence, to self-harm, armed offenders to crime involving kids – our officers see it all, and on a regular basis.

But it is heartening that these police, who go above and beyond the call of duty, are recognised and commended.

Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie – the Western Region’s top cop – said the awards for service showed a “great mix of experience and youth” in the local ranks.

Some of the police were recognised for 10, 20 or 30 years in the job – a feat in itself in today’s ever changing society, let alone in one of the toughest jobs.

But it wasn’t just police, their families were also recognised. Young children, parents, wives, husbands and partners watched on at Wednesday’s service as Assistant Commissioner McKechnie acknowledged that the blue line also took a toll on those closest to officers.

He said everyday those families listed to the stories of their loved ones, and what they were confronted with, or had to endure as part of their shift.

Assistant Commissioner McKechnie conceded there were dangerous and volatile situations everyday, and country police are not immune. Some have paid the ultimate price, and the Tamworth community knows all too well, after the murder of one of its own in 2012 when Senior Constable David Rixon was gunned down during a routing traffic stop. 

“[We know] we can go to work in the morning and not come home. So the day is about the families too.”

Victims and their families no doubt praise the police for their work, and many of us go to sleep at night knowing the thin blue line is policing the city, in a bid to keep our streets safe. But we as a community must be thankful that in our local ranks are men and women who put community safety above their own.

At the ceremony, we heard stories of officers tackling armed offenders, wrestling weapons from their hands. Or the officers who gave CPR to save a man’s life, or the cops who did everything they could to stop a man before he tried to torch a home. 

While many of these police dismiss their actions as ‘ordinary’ or just ‘all part of the job’, they’re nothing short of extraordinary.