Ten members of NSW Police Force recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Nine NSW Police Force officers have been awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) and one employee awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in recognition of their dedication and service as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours list.

The medal recipients are announced twice a year, in January (Australia Day) and June (Queen’s Birthday).

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller congratulated the recipients and thanked each of them for their ongoing commitment to protecting the community.

“Despite their varied career paths, each of the recipients epitomise the definition of a model employee, and are well-deserving of their medals,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“With 344 years of combined service, these officers have made professional contributions ranging from policing remote rural communities through to managing our state’s largest public events, developing engagement programs, as well as leading investigations into child abuse, murder and terrorism; and ensuring our waterways are the world’s safest.

“Not only has their expertise contributed to a better police force, it has had profound positive impacts on the communities we serve.

“It is my honour – on behalf of the NSW Police Force – to congratulate the recipients for their ongoing commitment to serving the people of NSW.”

The Australian Police Medal recipients are:

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty – Homicide Squad

Superintendent Stephen Hegarty – Marine Area Command

Detective Superintendent Murray Reynolds – Bankstown Police Area Command

Chief Inspector Nicole Bruce – Richmond Police District

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Faux – State Intelligence Operations

Chief Inspector John Klepczarek – The Hume Police District

Detective Chief Inspector Gregory Thomas – Northern Region Operations

Sergeant Jeffrey Farmer – Port Stephens-Hunter Police District

Sergeant Ian Miller – Leichhardt Police Area Command

The Public Service Medal was awarded to John Morahan from State Intelligence Professional Development.

APM RECIPIENT BIOS:

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty – Homicide Squad Commander

Det Supt Doherty joined the NSW Police Force in 1985 at the Flemington Police Patrol. The following year, he transferred to Auburn performing general duties before moving into criminal investigation roles until 1994. After a short stint at Bankstown Detectives Office, he transferred to the Major Crime Squad South West Region and then Crime Agencies, where he performed investigative roles until transferring to Liverpool Detectives Office in 1998. He was promoted to detective sergeant in 2002 at Macquarie Fields and continued to investigate criminal activity in south-west Sydney.

In 2008, he was promoted to Inspector (Duty Officer) at City Central Local Area Command, then moved to Liverpool Area Command in 2011 as the Crime Manager until being promoted to the rank of superintendent in 2014, when he was transferred to Central Metropolitan Region as the Operations Manager. In this role, he also provided strategic direction to all investigations, operations and emergency responses for major operations in Sydney, including New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras policing operations.

In 2018, he transferred to State Crime Command as the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad Commander before taking up his current position as Homicide Squad Commander in 2019.

Has been recognised for good police work, including the investigations of the murder of Kerry Whelan and the murder of Dorothy Davies. During his time at the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, Det Supt Doherty established nationally-recognised procedures for ‘virtual kidnappings’ of foreign students studying in Australia. He has also represented the NSW Police Force on numerous national conferences and committees including the National Bankers Committee, ANZPAA and NSW Hoteliers Association.

Superintendent Stephen Hegarty – Marine Area Commander

Supt Stephen Hegarty joined the NSW Police Force in 1989 and began his career in general duties at Auburn, Nowra and Ulladulla Police Stations. In 2003, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant while working within the Highway Patrol Unit at Shoalhaven Local Area Command. Also, in that year, he was involved in the rescue of a fisherman, for which he was later was awarded the Australian Bravery Award in recognition of extreme bravery and meritorious service.

In 2007, Supt Hegarty was promoted to Inspector (Duty Officer) at Wollongong Local Area Command, where he remained until his promotion to the rank of Superintendent in 2013 when he took on the role as Commander of Radio Operations.

In 2016, he returned to the South Coast as Shoalhaven Local Area Commander. He later facilitated the re-engineering of Shoalhaven and Batemans Bay Local Area Commands into the now-South Coast Police District, which consists of a large geographical footprint with significant population swells during seasonal tourism and various emergency management challenges. As part of the re-engineering, he established the “Officer in Charge Model”, which holds an Inspector accountable and for specific areas within the District. In March 2018, Supt Hegarty led the response to the Tathra bushfires which saw more than 100 houses damaged by fire. He successfully co-ordinated the emergency response and recovery phases associated with the fire.

Supt Hegarty transferred to his current role as Marine Area Commander in 2019, where he oversees the deployment of more than 50 vessels from nine sectors along the NSW coast, including Eden in the south and Tweed Heads in the north, for maritime law enforcement and the coordination and control of marine search and rescue. Most recently, he oversaw the largest peace time maritime operation undertaken in Sydney Harbour to coordinate the provisioning and crew movements of five cruise ships.

Detective Superintendent Murray Reynolds – Bankstown Police Area Commander

Det Supt Murray Reynolds joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1974, commencing his career at Darlinghurst Police Station in general duties. Between 1978 and 1981, he worked at Phillip Street, Flemington and Bankstown Police Stations and 21 Division (Special Squad), before embarking on a career in criminal investigations with the Surveillance Squad, Armed Hold Up Squad and South Region Drug Unit. He left the Force to pursue business interests in 1989 but re-joined in 1998 and was stationed at Kings Cross Local Area Command.

After being promoted to Detective Sergeant in 2002, before being promoted to the rank of Inspector in 2003 and transferring to Newtown. In 2007, he moved to The Rocks Local Area Command as Crime Manager, then took on a criminal investigation role at Professional Standards Command between 2009 to 2012.

In 2012, he was appointed as Staff Officer to the Deputy Commissioner Field Operations before being promoted to the rank of Superintendent the following year and taking the role of Barrier Local Area Commander, where he was instrumental in implementing strong community engagement strategies.

Det Supt Reynolds returned to Sydney in 2015 as the Drug and Alcohol Coordination Unit Commander before transferring to North West Metropolitan Region as the Operations Manager in 2017. He is currently the Bankstown Police Area Commander.

During his career, Det Supt Reynolds played significant roles in several high-profile incidents including as a member of the investigation task force into the Milperra massacre, and as an active member of the Special Operations Squad (SWOS).

During his time as the Crime Manager at Redfern Local Area Command, he implemented the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project to develop and strengthen partnerships between police and indigenous youth. He was also recognised for his lead role in Strike Force Enoggera (Cronulla Riots in 2005), his role as Public Order Forward Commander for the APEC Summit in 2007 and his lead role in the investigation review of the shooting death of Detective William Crews.

Chief Inspector Nicole Bruce – Richmond Police District

Ch Insp Nicole Bruce joined the NSW Police Force in 1989 and was confirmed as a constable at Botany Police Station. She continued in general duties until her transfer to Bathurst Joint Investigation Response Team in 2002, where she investigated matters of child abuse and neglect. In 2003, she transferred to Orange Police Station and was promoted to the rank of sergeant, supervising junior staff. In November 2008, she was promoted to the rank of Inspector and transferred to Richmond Local Area Command as a Duty Officer. She is currently the Police District Inspector in the Nimbin Sector of the Richmond Police District.

Ch Insp Bruce has distinguished herself in frontline policing, child protection investigation, LGBTIQ liaison and command roles that have enabled the NSW Police Force to achieve significant operational outcomes.

During her 30-year policing career, Ch Insp Bruce has received recognition for policing roles including complimentary remarks from the DPP regarding an investigation into child sexual abuse offences in 2003, her work in the mental health space, a number of public order management operations at Megasco, her work in the 100 years of Women in Policing Baton Relay and her leading roles in the resolution of a number of mental health-related incidents in Richmond Police District.

Ch Insp Bruce has mentored countless junior staff, peers and senior members of the organisation extensively in relation to the portfolio of sexuality and gender diversity. She has performed ambassador duties for the Gay, Lesbian Liaison Officer program and provided strong leadership and superior collaboration with the LGBTIQ communities throughout her duties as a District Inspector, heavily contributing to the development of closer relationships between police and the community.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Faux – State Intelligence Operations

Det Ch Insp Faux joined the NSW Police Force in 1990 and worked in Sydney’s Inner West in both general duties and specialist roles and later on the state’s South Coast. Between 1996 and 2003, Det Faux performed criminal investigation duties at Kings Cross and Eastern Suburbs Local Area Commands before being promoted to Sergeant, which saw him lead Proactive Investigative Teams at St George and Kings Cross before transferring to Surry Hills Regional Enforcement Squad.

In 2012, he was promoted to Inspector and took on the role of State Intelligence Operations Controller, where he remains today. During his time in this role, Det Ch Insp Faux has led the NSW Police Force use of specialist resources to infiltrate, prevent and resolve transnational serious and organised crime investigations. He has also led similar specialist policing covert strategies for terrorism investigations and developed specific covert training to meet the evolving threat to the Australian community. He is the national expert of specific investigative training for operatives in the disruption of terrorism and has been engaged throughout Australia and internationally to undertake research and the delivery of training in this space, not only on behalf of the NSW Police Force, but Commonwealth law enforcement agencies as well.

Chief Inspector John Klepczarek – The Hume Police District

Ch Insp John Klepczerak joined the NSW Police Force in 1988 at Redfern Patrol before transferring to the Illawarra, where he continued General Duties roles before taking over the Crime Prevention Officer role in 2000. This role also formed part of his duties as the Southern Region Media Liaison Officer, which included the coordination of media interviews for significant incidents across the Southern Region. In 2002, he was seconded to assist in implementing the Safer by Design program, which resulted in the inclusion of crime prevention legislative guidelines in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

In 2006, Insp Klepczarek was promoted to the rank of Sergeant at the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command, and in 2007, he developed an Aboriginal Employment Strategy offering ATSI students a school-based traineeship in policing. The program involved 100 days of paid work and a TAFE qualification. At the time, it was recognized as the first program of its kind across Australia. This led to Insp Klepczarek’s integral role in establishing the IPROWD program at Nowra TAFE in 2011, where he was a lecturer and mentor on the first program.

He was promoted to the rank of Inspector in 2012 and transferred to Surry Hills but has since returned to regional policing at The Hume Police District. He is currently the Officer in Charge of Southern Highlands Police Station and was instrumental in the opening of the station in 2018.

Ch Insp Klepczarek may be best known for his promotion of, and involvement in, local community events. He also remains the longest-serving President of the Illawarra Police Charity Ball (2003 to 2015) raising more than $200,000 for local charities.

Detective Chief Inspector Gregory Thomas – Northern Region Operations

Det Ch Insp Greg Thomas joined the NSW Police Force in March 1988 and was first stationed at Bankstown (19 Division) performing general duties until moving to the Georges River District Special Operations Group (Property and Drug Theft Unit) in 1990.

Det Ch Insp Thomas commenced his criminal investigation career upon transfer to Lakemba Police Station in 1994, and later Campsie Local Area Command from 1995. In 2000, he transferred to Internal Affairs Special Crime Unit where he was involved in covert investigative duties. In 2002, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to Brisbane Water Local Area Command performing the role of General Duties Sergeant. He later returned to criminal investigation duties in the Brisbane Water Drug Unit, then Brisbane Water Detectives. In 2010 he transferred to Newcastle Local Area Command as a Detective Sergeant, until being promoted to the rank of Inspector in 2010 at Burwood Local Area Command.

Det Ch Insp Thomas returned to Northern Region in 2013, performing numerous roles including as Professional Standards Manager, Operations Manager and his present position as Staff Officer to the Northern Region Commander.

Throughout his career, Det Ch Insp Thomas has been involved in numerous significant investigations, including “Check Out” (armed robbery offences), “Ardglass” (arrest of a significant serial sex offender), Strike Force Nerja (the investigations into the murders of Tim Voukaletas and George Giannopolous). He also played a pivotal role in the first NSWPF operation, where investigators covertly established and operated a business with undercover operatives to gain evidence of large-scale property crime, vehicle theft and drug offences across South Western Sydney.

Det Ch Insp Thomas is a qualified close personal protection officer and has been involved in numerous operations protecting VIPs, including at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and APEC in 2007. He is also a trained NSW and CT negotiator with 15 years of experience being deployed to numerous sieges and high-risk incidents.

Sergeant Jeffrey Farmer – Port Stephens-Hunter Police District

Sgt Jeff Farmer joined the NSW Police Force in 1981, commencing general duties in No 26 Division in metropolitan Sydney. He transferred to Walgett Police Station in 1983 and then spent almost 20 years in the Taree, Forster, and Tea Gardens areas before being promoted to Sergeant in 2002. At that time, he transferred to Waratah and continued supervising roles in the Lower Hunter, until transferring to his current command at Port Stephens Police District in 2008, where he continues to mentor, support and supervise junior staff.

Sgt Farmer has also been recognised for other commendable actions including being awarded a Commissioner’s Valour Award and Commissioner’s Commendation for Courage. He was also recognised in 2007 with the NSW Premier’s Emergency Award for his role and involvement in what was known as the “Pasha Bulka” storms that impacted the Hunter area.

With the majority of his service in rural communities, his performance has been described as nothing short of outstanding. He has won respect not only from the community, but also from his colleagues. Between 1998 and 2016, Sgt Farmer recorded no less than 11 complimentary remarks on his service history.

Sgt Farmer is also the driving force behind the Raymond Terrace Police Christmas Appeal, which collects and distributes toys for the less fortunate in the community and for children in John Hunter Hospital. In addition, he was instrumental in raising $40,000 for medical treatment for a work colleague who was diagnosed with a significant health issue.

Sergeant Ian Miller – Leichhardt Police Area Command

Sgt Ian Miller joined the NSW Police Force in 1978 and was first stationed at Balmain in general duties before transferring to Glebe Police Station and later back to Balmain. Sgt Miller moved to the now-Leichhardt Police Area Command in 1997, which incorporates both Balmain and Glebe, and has remained ever since – serving his entire 42-year policing career in the area.

Sgt Miller was acknowledged by members of the community for his distinguished service including averting the drowning of a member of the public in Blackwattle Bay in 1984.

Since being promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1990, he has been instrumental in training and developing newly-promoted sergeants using his wealth of practical, operational and leadership experience. His passion for the job is as strong as the day he started, which was formally recognised in 2014 with an award for the most pro-active Supervisor in the Command.

He is one of the longest-serving officers to have spent their entire service at one command, which has allowed him to make strong connections and implement programs with the assistance and support of community groups.

Sgt Miller continues to manage key community relationships within the Leichhardt area, including with the West Tigers NRL and the Wentworth Park Sporting Complex.

PSM RECIPIENT BIO:

John Morahan – State Intelligence Professional Development Manager

Mr Morahan is a dedicated professional who has made outstanding contributions to the NSW Police Force over the past 43 years. He has been involved in learning and development within the organisation for the past 25 years and his extensive experience and knowledge in adult education is of great value to the Force and its personnel.

In an earlier role as State Coordinator, Administrative Officer Training, he designed programs targeting specialised administrative roles which supported operational policing. As manager of the Workplace Training Unit, he was responsible for the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, one of the first nationally accredited Courses in the NSW Police Force which trained hundreds of personnel in best practise training and assessment. He and his team also designed the assessment tasks and accompanying tools for the inaugural Sergeant Promotion Process.

While in the role of Manager, Professional Development Cell, Special Services Group, he worked with subject matter experts to develop existing training programs into the Advanced Diploma Surveillance and the Advanced Diploma Undercover Operations.

Mr Morahan has always assisted others in their career development and his promotions programs over the years have provided both police and administrative staff the opportunity to advance their careers. At present he is working on the restructure of intelligence training under the Intelligence Professionalisation Pathway.

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