Three South Australia Police officers have today been awarded the Australian Police Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
On behalf of the organisation, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, offered his congratulations to the officers and noted their contribution to policing in SA.
“Each of these people has offered exemplary service to the state,” he said.
The Australian Police Medal is awarded for distinguished service by a member of an Australian police force.
The Governor-General awards the Australian Police Medal on the recommendation of the responsible state minister.
Today’s recipients are:
Detective Sergeant David Hunt
Detective Sergeant Hunt joined South Australia Police (SAPOL) in 1977 and since that time has served predominantly in roles focused on investigating and combating serious organised crime. Since 1995 he has continuously served within specialist crime branches aligned to illicit drug investigations including the Organised Crime Task Force, Drug Investigation Branch and Serious and Organised Crime Branch. He is regarded as SAPOL’s pre-eminent expert on illicit drugs and for the last 16 years has given expert illicit drug evidence in state and federal courts.
Detective Sergeant Hunt’s expertise sees him in high demand to provide training in both SAPOL and the wider community. Since 2006 he has also assisted in the preparation and facilitation of SAPOL’s Clandestine Drug Laboratory Investigation and Safety Course. His development of creative investigational strategies was instrumental in the success of Operation Post, which received significant national recognition and led to the Joint Agency Ice Strike Team being established in South Australia in 2019.
Detective Sergeant Bernard Farrington
Detective Sergeant Farrington joined SAPOL in November 1985, initially serving in patrols before becoming an investigator at Port Adelaide Criminal Investigation Branch in 1992. He joined the Port Adelaide Child and Family Investigation Section in 2000, working in areas focusing on child exploitation and sexual assault investigation, including the Paedophile Task Force. Promoted to Detective Sergeant in January 2005 within the (then) Sexual Crime Investigation Branch he went on to specialise in sexual crime investigation within the Special Crimes Investigation Branch.
Detective Sergeant Farrington has made significant contributions to the development of the Internet Child Exploitation Team, now the Joint Agency Child Exploitation Team, and to the Australian National Child Offender Register (ANCOR) Section. His extensive knowledge of legislative complexities and the case management of registrable offenders saw him play an integral role in the development and execution of new legislation in 2014, including the implementation of corporate training, comprehensive policies and the establishment of a new ANCOR team. He is highly regarded for mentoring investigators and for his high level leadership which has strengthened the areas of victim management, investigation and the justice process.
Senior Sergeant First Class Tracy Gentgall
Senior Sergeant Gentgalljoined SAPOL in 1982 and has served in areas including Internal Investigations Section, South Command Response, Major Crash Investigation Section, and since 2008 as manager of the Freedom of Information Unit. She is also the volunteer chairperson with the Road Trauma Support Team (RTST) of South Australia.
Senior Sergeant Gentgall’s expertise and understanding of the Freedom of Information Act is widely respected and her views are regularly sought out by government agencies. She has continually displayed diligence, expertise, empathy and ability to fairly interpret the application of the law, in a high volume, delicate and sensitive decision-making process. Her ability to provide fair and equitable outcomes to applications while empathising with applicants and considering business interests has been successful in several Court and Administrative appeals against the Police Ombudsman and Ombudsman SA external reviews, thereby enhancing SAPOL’s reputation as a fair decision-maker. She also regularly exceeds reasonable expectations of her position in her efforts to source relevant information to satisfy applicants.