IT WAS Sergeant Scott Russell's efforts in the North West community of Collarenebri which saw him named police officer of the year last night.
The title was announced at a gala dinner in Sydney held to celebrate the Rotary Clubs of NSW, 2012 NSW Police Officer of the Year Awards.
The ceremony recognised officers and employees for their passion in their local community and achieving personal excellence.
Sergeant Russell is stationed at Collarenebri, where he oversees policing in a town of around 450 people.
“It’s a marvellous little community, however we’re quite isolated from the nearest major centre and our policing back-up is at least 80km away,” Sergeant Russell said.
Castlereagh police commander, Superintendent Bob Noble, was quick to praise Sergeantt Russell, particularly for his efforts since late 2010.
“Regrettably, there was a fatal police shooting in Collarenebri close to two years ago which led to a fair degree of angst between police and the local community,” Superintendent Noble said.
“Sergeant Russell came in and did an outstanding job to establish a rapport with the people affected, mend relationships and lead that community back to more prosperous times.
“He’s a very compassionate man with a great sense of humour, and he genuinely cares about people,” Supt Noble added.
In a further endorsement of his service to the community, Sergeant Russell was also awarded Field Operations Local Area Command Police Officer of the Year.
He has been a member of the NSW Police Force since 1988, and said being presented with the two honours was both humbling and unexpected.