For Senior Constable Stewart Judd, December 14, last year, was just another day on the job, policing the town of Gunnedah.
He and another officer were deployed to a local home after call to triple zero for a man with a loaded gun, threatening to shoot police when they arrived.
But it was his actions next that have amazed his colleagues, and also earned him a bravery recognition from the force.
“As the officers exited their vehicle, the offender pointed a rifle at them,” Oxley Inspector Michael Wurth detailed at a police ceremony in Tamworth on Wednesday.
“A civilian who had been sitting with the offender grabbed the rifle, with both men falling to the ground, still holding the weapon.”
The bystander was able to hold the rifles, as both officers tackled the offender to arrest him and secure the loaded gun.
“Senior Constable Judd is commended for displaying tenacity, professionalism and restrain during the arrest, placing the safety of the community above his own,” Inspector Wurth said.
Rossano Pilotto was also recognised for his actions in the dangerous incident, that unfolded right in front of him.
“You grabbed the rifle and wrestled with the offender, thus preventing him from aiming the weapon at police,” Inspector Wurth detailed.
Senior Constables Bree Pascoe and Amanda Burgess saved a man’s life in Gunnedah on November 19, rendering first aid after he inflicted a life-threatening wound to himself.
Constable Sarah Foster put her own life at risk when she rescued a man in “difficult and dangerous circumstances” in September, 2014, while four civilians who saw a fire in a Chandos St house in Gunnedah were also commended.
The four were driving by on February 6, 2015, and saw the flames, before they kicked in the front door and found a victim lying on the lounger, dragging her to safety.
A second victim was found upstairs and rescued while one of the men alerted triple zero, and tried to use a garden hose to douse the fire.
Without the brave actions of these four men this incident would have ended in tragedy.Oxley Inspector Michael Wurth
“Without the brave actions of these four men this incident would have ended in tragedy,” Inspector Wurth said.
It was these acts that were recognised by NSW Police Deputy Commissioner for Regional NSW Garry Worboys, and the Western Region’s top cop, Assistant Commissioner, Geoff McKechnie, along with senior Oxley police.
“It’s not easy when you’re confronted with that,” he told the officers.
“The great efforts [of police] in putting community safety ahead of their own personal safety.”
FOR SENIOR constables Lisa Dyson and Ronald Waters, going above and beyond was all part of the job in Tamworth on January 9.
The pair have been commended for their actions, after they were called to a domestic dispute and were confronted by an aggressive man armed with a knife.
The man refused to to drop the knife and continued to threaten the officers. The pair deployed a taser, as the man continued to resist, before they eventually secured the kinife and arrested the man.
“The officers displayed exceptional team work and bravery during this volatile incident,” Oxley Inspector Michael Wurth detailed at a police ceremony in Tamworth on Wednesday.
“They are commended for displaying tenacity, professionalism and restraint during the arrest, placing the safety of their community above their own.”
On April 2, 2015, Detectives David Walker and Graham Goodwin, and Senior Constables Brenton Long, Todd Petrie and Michael Abra were deployed to Manilla.
A man, armed with an axe, knife and a can of fuel threatened to self-harm and to set fire to the house.
Officers were deployed to this extremely volatile situation and with their professionalism, patience and dedication to duty were able to resolve this matter without injury to either police officers or the male offender.Oxley Inspector Michael Wurth
“Officers were deployed to this extremely volatile situation and with their professionalism, patience and dedication to duty were able to resolve this matter without injury to either police officers or the male offender,” Inspector Wurth said.
“Their actions are commended.”
Constable Michael Rainbow tackled an armed man in South Tamworth after he was intercepted driving on the wrong side of Goonoo Goonoo Rd in November, 2015, while Constable Marc Tyler was commended for his actions in the emergency response to the devastating Blue Mountains Bushfires in 2013.
Inspector Jeff Budd and Senior Constable Ron Waters were also recognised for their outstanding service in Strike Force Durkin – the police operation to catch the country’s most wanted, Malcolm Naden.
Family bear the brunt: police
WHILE the dedication to the job day-in-day-out by local officers has been commended, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie has also recognised the family of police.
Addressing more than 50 officers and their families in Tamworth, Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said the blue line also took a toll on those closest to officers.
“Listening day in and day out to those stories, knowing that they go through that,” he said, pointing to the brave acts of officers, as well as the dangerous and volatile situations country police are confronted with across the Oxley Command almost everyday.
“[We know] we can go to work in the morning and not come home. So the day is about the families too.”
He said the awards for service showed a “great mix of experience and youth” in the local ranks.