Tasmania Police officers recognised in Australia Day Honours 2022

Australia Day Honours will be awarded to two Tasmania Police officers today, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to policing.

Commander Debbie Williams and Detective Sergeant Shane Sinnitt will each receive the Australian Police Medal which gives special recognition to members of Australian police forces for commendable service.

In expressing his congratulations, Commissioner Hine said:

“On behalf of Tasmania Police, I congratulate Commander Debbie Williams and Detective Sergeant Shane Sinnitt on today’s honour.

“Commander Debbie Williams has been a pioneer and trailblazer during her diverse career which spans more than 30 years across the state.

“Leading by example with a wealth of policing knowledge, Commander Williams is an advocate and mentor to many.

“Commander Williams is notably the first female officer to be promoted to Commander of a geographical policing command.”

“Detective Sergeant Shane Sinnitt is a highly respected member of Tasmania Police, with over 25 years policing experience, predominantly in the field of Criminal Investigation.

“As a highly skilled investigator, Detective Sergeant Sinnitt was an instrumental part of the team who investigated the murder of Bob Chappell. In what was an extremely prolonged and complex investigation – the murder conviction was in part due to Detective Sergeant Sinnitt’s commitment, professionalism and attention to detail throughout the investigation.

“The commendable service of both Commander Debbie Williams and Detective Sergeant Shane Sinnitt make them both worthy receipts of the Australian Police Medal today.”


Commander Debbie Williams

Commander Debbie Williams joined Tasmania Police in 1990 and was promoted to Inspector of Burnie Division in 2016, and Commander of Western District in 2018.

Commander Williams has a wealth of knowledge and experience in a broad range of policing areas including Uniform Policing across the state (including Hobart, Glenorchy, Launceston, Devonport and Ulverstone), Forensic Services, Victim Safety Response Team and Safe at Home.

In 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic response, with an outbreak at the North West Regional Hospital, Commander Williams activated the North West Regional Emergency Coordination Centre following the activation of the State Control Centre. In what was an unprecedented and complex emergency management situation, as Regional Controller, Commander Williams provided high-level strategic advice and assistance to the State Emergency Management Controller.

Commander Williams has received the Tasmania Police Commissioners Medal, National Police Service Medal, National Medal for Service, and a commendation for work undertaken at the Port Arthur Massacre.

In addition to her operational experience, Commander Williams has multiple tertiary qualification including Graduate Diploma (Police Studies), Graduate Certificate (Police Studies) and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts with Professional Honours (Public Sector Leadership and Management).


Detective Sergeant Shane Sinnitt

Detective Sergeant Shane Sinnitt commenced with Tasmania Police in 1995 and was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant in 2015.

Detective Sergeant Sinnitt is a highly skilled detective with a wealth of policing experience, predominantly across Southern Tasmania, including Hobart and Bridgewater Stations, and Criminal Investigation Branches at Bellerive, Kingston and Hobart.

As an experienced CIB member, Detective Sergeant Sinnitt played a key role investigating the murder of Bob Chappell, which ultimately led to a murder conviction.

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