And the Winners are..!
Channel Nine Perth and the Western Australia Police Force have celebrated the best of policing with the presentation of this year’s Nine News WA Police Excellence Awards at Crown Perth. Commissioner Chris Dawson said the number, variety and calibre of nominations received from colleagues and the general community is testament to the work of all WA Police Force officers.
“We strive to make this an exceptional police force, so it’s important to recognise and reward those officers and teams who are doing an excellent job each day,” he said. “I certainly appreciate it, and it is pleasing to see the people of Western Australia share my view.”
Senior Sergeant Darryl Brandis - individual winner
Currently the Officer-in-Charge of Mundijong Police Station, the award recognises 30 years of dedication to his duty as a police officer, exemplified in his commitment to the Mundijong community and the way he frequently engages with local stakeholders to achieve positive outcomes.
The man affectionately known as “Brando” received multiple nominations, many coming from police colleagues who describe him as an exceptional leader and role model for junior officers, who is always the first to arrive when his team requests back-up at a job. He has entrenched himself in the Mundijong area as an extremely committed advocate of positive community engagement, frequently meeting with the local shire as well as business owners and other local residents.
Senior Sergeant Brandis is also recognised for his empathy with victims of crime and others who come into contact with police. He has led a number of searches for missing persons, particularly those who are suffering from cognitive impairment. Notably, one of the nominations was from the family of Mr Ian Collett, the subject of a major search earlier this year. Even though the search ended in tragedy for the Collett family, they wanted to recognise Senior Sergeant Brandis for the compassion and support he provided during the search and in the weeks afterwards.
Finalists in the individual category were:
- Senior Constable Ben Ferris – Merredin Police Station, Wheatbelt District
- First Class Constable Nathan Smith – Broome Police Station, Kimberley District
Mental Health Co-Response- team winner
This team, from the Custodial Services and Mental Health Division, is acknowledged for assisting vulnerable people in the community who are suffering from mental health issues. The team was established in an Australian-first initiative by the WA Police Force in partnership with the WA Mental Health Commission and the WA Department of Health.
Member of the team are specially trained in responding to individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. The officers work alongside experienced mental health practitioners with the aim of assisting people to remain in their own homes, rather than being transported to hospital. The development of this team has resulted in the provision of earlier, enhanced access to mental health support services, as well as earlier intervention and diversion from the criminal justice system. There has also been a reduction in both police and medical resources required to respond to mental health incidents.
The team of officers at the Mental Health Co-Response are passionate about assisting those experiencing mental health issues – each officer has volunteered to be deployed to that team. The team values diversity and cultural sensitivity, and recognises that mental illness is not confined to any particular group in society.
Finalists in the team category were:
- Kellerberrin Police Station – Wheatbelt District
- Mullewa Police Station – Mid West-Gascoyne District
The awards are judged by a panel according to criteria including excellence in a policing role, the core WA Police Force values of duty, teamwork, integrity and care, as well as the extent to which nominations raise the public’s confidence in policing.
The winner of the individual award receives a $5,000 prize and the two finalists each receive a $1,000 prize courtesy of sponsor P&N Bank. The winning team receives a $5,000 prize and the two finalists each receive a $1,000 prize courtesy of sponsor Nine News Perth, to be spent on team development. The awards are sponsored by Channel Nine Perth, Crown Perth, radio station 882 6PR and P&N Bank.
The WA Police Force would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate an individual police officer or a police team this year.