Awards for Valley cops
SENIOR Constable James Morrison yesterday received a Local Area Command award acknowledging his remarkable contribution to the police force.
It was a special award that unfortunately had a tragic story behind it and a devastating ending.
The officer was acknowledged for trying to save a man who hanged himself.
Snr Cst Morrison was one of 22 people including police officers and volunteers who yesterday were acknowledged for their diligent service to the community and the police force, during a formal ceremony at the Grafton Community Centre.
Following the ceremony Snr Cst Morrison said suicides and stressful situations were part of the job and it was what officers learnt to deal with on a daily basis.
The Grafton-based highway patrol officer said the day of the suicide in December last year, started out like any other day until he received the emergency call over the radio.
"Between the time we left the police station and the time we got to the address it was only a couple of minutes," he said.
"When we arrived at the address we found the young man hanging, we cut him down ... undid the knot and performed CPR.
"We had a couple of people who held a torch for us and various other things but we were unsuccessful with CPR and the ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later.
"Because it was a possible crime scene, we then had the issue of dealing with relatives and family members who were extremely upset."
At yesterday's ceremony long service awards, a national medal, a regional commander's commendation and appointments to the rank of sergeant were acknowledged.
Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Peter Parsons, along with Local Area Commander Superintendent Peter Barrie, handed out the awards to the sound of hearty applause from onlookers.
Superintendent Barrie said the awards provided a key opportunity for the industry to show its appreciation to members of the community and police employees.
"With all the recipients here today, while they received something specific in relation to a specific incident or period of service, what you'll find with all of them is that it represents just a small part of what they do for the community, whether it be with police or with other community services," he said.