He led the charge in the establishment of a program which significantly reduced the incarceration rate of Aboriginal youth in western NSW, and saw through the dismantling of a major ice supply network, but now Superintendent Peter McKenna will farewell the Western Region.
Supt McKenna completed his last day as District Commander of the Orana Mid-Western Police District today (Friday 25 June 2021), following his promotion to the rank of Assistant Commissioner, Northern Region Commander, based in Newcastle.
Commencing next Monday (28 June 2021), Supt McKenna will oversee 11 police districts from the Central Coast to Tweed Heads on the Queensland border.
Western Region Assistant Commissioner, Geoff McKechnie APM, said Supt McKenna has brought positive innovations to the district throughout the past four years.
“Superintendent McKenna has made a real difference during his tenure at Orana Mid-Western Police District,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
“His leadership of strategies aimed at reducing youth crime have achieved incredibly positive results.
“I thank him and his family for all they have done for our communities.”
Supt McKenna has been at the helm of the Orana Mid-Western Police District since December 2017, commencing the position at a significant time for the NSW Police Force with the first amalgamation of Local Area Commands.
The Orana Mid-Western Police District was formed and quickly displayed a successful model through significant crime reduction and the increased ability to share resources across the district under the watchful eye of Supt McKenna.
“Orana Mid-Western PD quickly set the template for all other amalgamations and proved particularly beneficial to outer-lying sections which were previously more isolated,” he said.
“We formed large proactive crime teams, a drug unit, bike squads, and were able to strike across the district to supress crime as it spiked in any location.”
It was this commitment to establishing valuable policing resources in the district which lead to some of Supt McKenna’s fondest achievements during his time at Dubbo.
Among those, the resolution phase of Strike Force Pinnacle at Wellington in 2019 which resulted in 76 persons arrested and charged, and the complete dismantling of a multi-generational ice supply network that had been operating with impunity for a significant period of time.
And his most satisfying achievement, being the establishment of the Aboriginal Youth Team under the Walwaay Program which has been a police-led and community-supported program in line with the Commissioner’s RISEUP strategy.
“The program has seen significant reductions in Aboriginal youth entering the criminal justice system in Dubbo,” Supt McKenna said.
“The flow-on effect has been a mutually respectful and overall greater relationship between the police and the Aboriginal community with everyone from Elders through to the kids having a completely different outlook on police and I must say vice-versa.
“I think if there was to be a legacy for me from this police district, the Walwaay Program along with the flow-on effects from it, would be it.”
Supt McKenna will draw from three decades of operational policing to ensure the Northern Region has the appropriate capability and impetus to prevent, disrupt and respond to crime.
“There will be a real focus on being proactive – taking on the crooks head-on – and from my time here in Dubbo there’s no doubt I’ll have a focus on ensuring youth are given every chance to succeed,” he said.