Australia Day Honours Australian Police Medal

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Australian Police Medal recipients 2019
Brevet Senior Sergeant Revis Ryder (Picture courtesy of The West Australian), Commander Stuart Bartels, Sergeant Kylie Simmonds and Senior Sergeant Mark Fleskens.

The diversity and scope of policing in Western Australia has been captured in the announcement of this year’s Australia Day Honours.

The Western Australia Police Force is proud to acknowledge four recipients of the Australian Police Medal. The APM is the most prestigious medal granted to a police officer under the Australian Honours system. Our recipients come from a range of ranks and backgrounds, all making significant career contributions to the WA Police Force and the communities they serve.

Australian Police Medal 2019

Awarded for distinguished service, we are proud to acknowledge four recipients of the Australian Police Medal this Australia Day 😊 🇦🇺 😊 🇦🇺 A huge congratulations to Commander Stuart Bartels, Senior Sergeant Mark Fleskens, Brevet Senior Sergeant Revis Ryder and Sergeant Kylie Simmonds. You can find out why these four outstanding officers received this accolade on our website. Photo credit – The West Australian

Posted by Western Australia Police Force on Friday, 25 January 2019

Commander Stuart Bartels

BartelsCommander Stuart Bartels.

Since graduating as dux of the Academy in February 1985, Commander Bartels has carved a diverse career in frontline and specialist policing, combining leadership and forensic specialist status enhanced by a Masters level education. He served more than 13 years as a country police officer and OIC, going on to achieve accredited forensic expertise and experience in Metropolitan District management. Whilst OIC and Manager of the Forensic Crime Scene Unit he significantly improved the role of the Forensic Division as investigative support. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in August 2014.

Commander Bartels engineered significant inroads in Forensic reform through his tenure at Forensic Division from 2006-2011, implementing changes to investigative and managerial practices that have positioned the agency as leaders in contemporary forensic investigation. In 2013 he led and managed the East Metropolitan Policing District, introducing rostering reform to better manage deployment against demand, and authored a report on “Metropolitan Policing Reforms” which has since been absorbed into current policing activities.

In 2014 he was transferred to the Business Information System Portfolio as the Acting Assistant Commissioner, transforming and leading the most significant structural transformation of the ICT portfolio with a shift from “supply/demand” model to a lean “Plan/Build/Run” model. In January 2018 he was appointed to the position of Commander, Metropolitan North, where he successfully transitioned through the Metropolitan District Restructure. He has converted the Commissioner’s command intent to action and provided tactical direction that has sustained lowering crime rates. He has re-focused policing actions to enforce the law, in particular the renewed enforcement approach to Out of Control Gatherings.

Commander Bartels creates workplaces that empower, motivate and develop personnel. His conceptual and analytical skills have ensured strategic change has been implemented effectively, so that quality results are delivered in line with all customer needs. He has continuously demonstrated distinguished service and leadership and vision throughout his career, with proven customer focus. For these reasons Commander Bartels is a most worthy recipient of the Australian Police Medal.

Senior Sergeant Mark Fleskens

FleskensSenior Sergeant Mark Fleskens.

Starting as a Cadet in January 1980, Senior Sergeant Fleskens has worked in various Metropolitan and Regional WA stations and business units over his 39 years in policing. After graduating in April 1982 he progressed to the rank of Sergeant in October 2000, establishing himself as an influential leader. As Patrol Supervisor at Gosnells Police Station from 2005 to 2013, he implemented changes in a number of areas that resulted in positive behaviour and performance amongst staff, a reduction in crime offences and anti-social hotspots and achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Promoted to his current rank in March 2013, Senior Sergeant Fleskens transferred to the Community Engagement Division as the State Coordinator Crime Prevention and Diversity Officer. He was responsible for managing multiple community cohorts such as the LGTBI, Muslim and Culturally and Linguistically (CALD) communities, contributing to crime reduction and safer communities. He was part of the project team delivering a State-wide CCTV framework. In October 2014 as Youth Policing Operations Manager Senior Sergeant Fleskens worked to enable Youth Crime Intervention Officers to engage and refer juvenile Priority Prolific Offenders to Government and not-for-profit organisations, while also increasing their numbers from 20 to 69. He also managed a small team of Police and Mission Australia staff, utilising case managers in the Intensive Family Support Project to tackle families that place a high demand on frontline services.

Since February 2017 Senior Sergeant Fleskens has served as Officer in Charge, Newman Police Station. He participates in the Martu Leadership Program with community representatives, developing programs to teach the Martu community about mainstream legal justice and offering alternative pathways away from prison. Along with another officer from Jigalong Multi-Functional Police Facility he came up with the idea of mock court sessions to teach the Martu about the legal system, proving to be beneficial to the community. With the support of his team at the Police Station and a number of locals, Senior Sergeant Fleskens coordinates the Bloody Slow Cup to raise funds for WA Police Legacy, along with the Police Remembrance event acknowledging the loss of four Police Officers in a plane crash in Newman in January 2001.

In 2017 he joined his daughter Erin, a serving police officer, on a mission to complete the Kokoda Trail to reduce the stigma of mental health in the police and emergency services. Senior Sergeant Fleskens strong leadership, dynamic communication skills and ability to empower organisational change makes him a worthy recipient of the Australian Police Medal.

Brevet Senior Sergeant Revis Ryder

RyderBrevet Senior Sergeant Revis Ryder. Picture courtesy of The West Australian.

Brevet Senior Sergeant Ryder has developed his talent in building strong relationships with the community to forge a distinguished career with the Western Australia Police Force. Starting in August 1996 as an Aboriginal Police Liaison Officer, he now leads the state’s first entirely Indigenous-run police station.

After almost nine years at Geraldton Police Station he transferred to South East Metro Community Policing in June 2005. A year later he undertook transition training to become a sworn Police Officer, serving a stint as a Patrol & Inquiry Officer at Cannington Police Station. He transferred to Narrogin Police Station as the Crime Prevention & Diversity Officer in February 2007, also relieving at Corrigin and Pingelly Police Stations. Further opportunities arose when he moved to Mirrabooka Police Station in September 2008, relieving as Sergeant on several occasions until the country beckoned again in September 2011. He served at Yalgoo Police Station where he relieved as the Officer in Charge (Sergeant) extensively, including a secondment to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) in Perth in 2011.

He continued building his leaderships skills during two years at Kambalda Police Station from March 2015, again relieving as OIC on multiple occasions. Enjoying the challenge of country policing and forming strong bonds with the community, Brevet Senior Sergeant Ryder transferred to Warakurna MFPF in March 2017, where he is currently the OIC. Warakurna’s distinction as being entirely Indigenous-run has had a positive effect on the whole community and its relationship with Police. Locals now greet the officers on the street as they pass by, and this has resulted in a reduction in youth crime.

Brevet Senior Sergeant Ryder’s innate cultural understanding has assisted in bridging the gap between Aboriginal people and the justice system. As a former East Fremantle football player, he is also the local footy coach, spending Saturday afternoons with a group of young men at the red dirt football oval in the community, teaching strategies and skills for the game. He endeavours to inspire and lead the community as a role model for Aboriginal youth and hopes the youth will follow in his footsteps of policing to further bridge the gaps into the future. His long service across a number of country stations and his ability to engage and inspire future generations makes Brevet Senior Sergeant Ryder a worthy recipient of the Australian Police Medal.

Sergeant Kylie Simmonds

SimmondsSergeant Kylie Simmonds.

Sergeant Simmonds has served in a variety of roles throughout the Metropolitan, Regional WA and State Crime Portfolios since commencing her career in April 1999. Significant roles at Broome Police Station, Serious and Organised Crime Squad and Coronial Investigation Unit have been supplemented by qualifications including Bachelor of Education, Masters of Business Administration and I6 Detective Supervisor. Recently Sergeant Simmonds has held the position of Staff Officer at the Major Crime Division and Pilbara District Office.

In 2010, Sergeant Simmonds was seconded to the then Australian Crime Commission, targeting National and International Established Criminal Networks. While a Detective Investigator at the Serious and Organised Crime Division, Sergeant Simmonds was an integral part of a dedicated investigation team who were seconded to the Australian Federal Police as part of Operation Interstice. This operation resulted in a significant illicit drug seizure and the dismantling of an international Organised Crime Syndicate involved in the importation of illicit drugs into Australia. Her efforts saw her awarded with the Australian Federal Police Commissioner’s medal for “Conspicuous Conduct”. Transferring to the Coronial Investigation Unit in 2011, Sergeant Simmonds managed the investigations of coronial files on behalf of the State Coroner, recognised for achieving increased efficiency and professionalism of coronial investigations by Police. Her professionalism and caring nature was evident in significant family liaison roles in regard to the MH-17 tragedy and the Esperance Bush fires of 2015. At Major Crime Division Sergeant Simmonds held many senior liaison and consultative positions with internal and external partners.

Sergeant Simmonds transferred to her current role as Staff Officer Pilbara Police District in 2016 and has again established and built upon key relationships within the regional communities of the Pilbara. She has also assisted with highly sensitive and delicate Child Abuse investigations and has carried out a wide range of duties, notably inclusive of but not limited to relieving at the Police facility at Barrow Island and acting as OIC of Dampier Police Station. In addition to her strong commitment to duty and high standard of work performance, Sergeant Simmonds is highly regarded by the Karratha community and the Department of Child Protection and Family Services in her role as a foster carer for a number of children in need. She is acknowledged for her dedication to providing care to children in active reunification phases with their parents, ultimately assisting in the successful transition of children back to her homes.

Sergeant Simmonds’ ability to balance care and compassion with professionalism is an inspiration to others. She demonstrates a selfless and dedicated commitment to duty in reducing community harm, particularly for children, and this is balanced with her significant proactive contribution to the community she serves. This makes Sergeant Simmonds a worthy recipient of the Australian Police Medal.