This year, three members of SA Police are recipients of 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.
Detective Chief Superintendent Craig Patterson
Detective Chief Superintendent Craig Patterson joined South Australia Police in 1976 and since that time has served in various uniform areas and Criminal Investigation Branch postings, including with the former Drug Task Force and Major Crime Investigation Branch (MCIB) where he was a primary investigator on a number of widely publicised murders.
He has also been instrumental in combatting serious and organised crime, and has been integral to SAPOL’s terrorism response. As a Detective Sergeant in MCIB he was one of the lead investigators on the Snowtown murders. His drive, dedication and investigative skills uncovered the serial killings, he was a catalyst in unravelling one of the state’s most complex and infamous crimes which began with his investigation into the Clinton Trezise missing person’s case.
In 2004 he was promoted to Officer rank and has since served across a diverse range of policing functions including metropolitan criminal investigation, traffic, licensing enforcement, ethical and professional standards, serious and organised crime, and security and emergency management. As Officer in Charge of Serious and Organised Crime Branch he contributed at both state and national levels to the investigation of serious and organised crime networks and individuals. He has been a significant figure amongst his national peers and has influenced the strategic direction of national and state law enforcement activity relating to serious and organised crime.
Since 2017 he has coordinated SAPOL’s response to terrorism and performed key emergency management roles. He represents South Australia at state and national counter-terrorism forums and has strengthened cross- government networks.
Detective Chief Superintendent Patterson has demonstrated superior leadership and commitment to SAPOL, to the safety of the community of South Australia, and continues to demonstrate these superior skills today as SAPOL’s COVID-19 Police Commander – Operations
Senior Sergeant First Class Trevor Lindsay Milne
Senior Sergeant First Class Trevor Milne joined South Australia Police in January 1970, initially serving in patrols at Para Hills and then Peterborough. In 1982 he commenced as a Crime Scene Investigator at Whyalla and apart from a three-year period as a Training and Development Coordinator at Mount Gambier he has spent the majority of his career committed to improving SAPOL’s forensic response capability.
SS1C Milne has worked as a crime scene field supervisor, led the SAPOL Fingerprint Bureau, and since 2013 has been the Officer in Charge of Training and Development Section in Forensic Services Branch. He has an unrelenting dedication to improving forensic service, systems and capability. This includes assisting in the development of the Forensic Register System used to record all crime scene investigations and the development and maintenance of both SAPOL’s and Australia’s Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) capability. He has been a vocal advocate for DVI skills enhancement and the driver of capability development in SAPOL.
In 2005 he volunteered and completed two deployments to Thailand as a member of the international DVI response to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. His profound experience as a member of the international response to the Thailand tragedy has driven his desire to reunite loved ones with their families in a respectful and dignified manner.
SS1C Milne is also the current Deputy President of the Police Association of SA and has served on its committee for more than 15 years. His industrial advocacy has enhanced members’ working conditions and led to the betterment of policing. He is held in the highest regard by his interstate and national peers within the DVI environment and the policing industrial representative framework.
Detective Senior Sergeant Michelle Cahalan
Detective Senior Sergeant Michelle Cahalan joined South Australia Police in 2000 and has specialised within the criminal investigation field. She joined Criminal Investigation Branch in 2005 and since 2009 has focused substantially on the operational, management and strategic direction of specialist criminal investigation areas.
Detective Senior Sergeant Cahalan has provided distinguished and dedicated service in a multifaceted and extremely challenging policing environment. She has directly contributed to the development of complex criminal investigations.
Detective Senior Sergeant Cahalan’s commitment, expertise and professionalism are exemplified by her arduous role in the assessment, initiation and management of significant SAPOL criminal investigation specialist areas.
Highly regarded both within Crime Service and nationally with other agencies, she is regularly consulted for advice, particularly in regards to the highly complex and ever-evolving National Facial Biometric Matching Capability that spans several organisations. She is a highly effective communicator who represents SAPOL in an exemplary manner, particularly as a subject matter expert at executive level where she is renowned for her attention to detail and ability to simplify complicated processes and procedures.
Detective Senior Sergeant Cahalan’s leadership, professionalism, high standard of performance and enduring personal and professional commitment to the field of specialist criminal investigations has been recognised by this award.
The Australian Police Medal is a circular, nickel-silver medal ensigned with the Crown of St Edward. The front of the medal displays the effigy of the Sovereign on a Federation Star, superimposed over a pattern of fluted rays.
The back of the medal is inscribed with the words ‘Australian Police Medal’ and ‘For Distinguished Service’. The inscriptions are encircled by a wreath of the national floral emblem, the golden wattle.