OXLEY Police District officers and staff were heartened to finally come together on Thursday to acknowledge the bravery and dedication of local personnel.
The district's first traditional awards ceremony since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was held at Gunnedah High School, where officers were congratulated for their courage and dedication to service.
For senior constable Kate Fletcher and sergeant Tim Ginman, it was a critical incident on December 19, 2015, during a shift at Tamworth Police Station which saw them handed awards of commendation.
Upon arrival at the scene they were faced with a man who was armed with a firearm on the veranda of his home. After drawing their weapons, they quickly took cover.
The officers then attempted to take control of the situation, requesting he 'put the gun down, it's the police, we're here to help you'. However as a result the man took his own life.
It was their actions to try to calm the man without injury which saw them awarded for their bravery on Thursday alongside colleagues.
For senior constable Brenton Long, it was his dedication and professionalism when handling a highly volatile siege situation which saw him honoured for his exceptional service.
These three officers were just a few of the many applauded for their services, with awards including National Police Service Medal, National Medal and clasps, NSW Police Medal and clasps, NSW Police Medallion and lapel pins, and Police Long Service Awards handed out.
Oxley Police Superintendent Kylie Endemi said it has been a challenging year for the force, and a challenging year for everyone in the community.
"We have had to face, meet and rise to challenges that none of us could have ever predicted and I am so proud of the way in which the police within the Oxley Police District have done just that to keep our community safe," she said.
"Days like today are about coming together in that traditional setting to recognise the diligent service and the amazing bravery and heroic actions of our local police and to share those stories with the local community.
"At the end of the day we're community members as well, our police are just that, we live in the communities, our families are part of the communities, and it's nice to share their accomplishments and recognise them in this way."
The Affirmation of Office award was presented to Probationary Constable Lisa Smith, while the Commissioner's Certificate of Merit for exceptional service of duty was handed to Sergeant Snow-Jones, who also received his NSW Police Medal for 10 years service.
Western Region Unit Citations were awarded to Senior Constables Shane Pinchen and Sarah Miller.