Liz Smith is congratulated by Inspector Gillett.
Liz Smith is congratulated by Inspector Gillett. Debra Novak

Clarence's top cop

THE former assistant manager at Yamba Golf Club, Liz Smith, is convinced she made the right move into policing five years ago.

And she’s not the only one.

Const Smith took out the prestigious Clarence Valley Police Officer of the Year award at a Rotary presentation in Grafton last week.

Most notable in her achievements in the past year was the arrest of juveniles for the Yamba Public School break-in in January while on a temporary shift in the town.

“I was outraged,” Const Smith said.

Inspector Murray Gillett said: “Liz used her initiative when deployed to Yamba and identified the offender and they’ve all been dealt with.

“She has displayed professionalism and commitment to the job and is a successful applicant of the Target Action Group.

“Only the very best of the best are put into these positions.”

Const Smith said she would like to one day become a detective and Insp Gillett said that, judging by her investigative work displayed recently, “that’s certainly where her future lies”.

Const Smith said she enjoyed the sense of community from policing, describing the job more fulfilling than previous jobs.

She said she was surprised and humbled by her award considering the great class of officers that she was up against.

Other contenders for the award were: Sen-Const Greg Hembrow, Sen-Const Brendan O’Mahony, Sergeant Volker Ruehe, Sen-Const Darren Bartrim, Const Steve Bell and Sgt Darren Williams.

Const Smith’s promotion to senior constable is expected in the next few months.

Insp Gillett said a selection panel comprising himself, Sgt Harley Willox, Clarence MP Steve Cansdell and Rotarian David Morgan made the final decision on the award.

He said he hoped to raise the profile of the Police Officer of the Year Award next year where members of the public could meet police in a social atmosphere and show their support for the service.

He also mentioned plans for a 000 ball for later this year to celebrate the work of all emergency services.

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