Yamba riot police thank community

WITH the Yamba riot trial verdict sending shockwaves across the state Coffs Clarence local area commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan, wants to thank the community for its support.

Supt Holahan said it was hard for people in the community to

fathom the seriousness of the situation police were faced with on the night.

“I don’t think there are many people in our community that can really understand that,” he said.

“Unless you are actually faced with what those police faced it’s difficult to make comment.

“Those police on that night acted to the best of their ability to protect their community, and I know the community are appreciative of their efforts and so are their fellow workmates.”

Since the verdict was handed down on Monday Supt Holahan said police had been flooded with messages of support.

“I am overwhelmed with the amount of community support we have received from all sections of this command,” he said.

“For us as police it is important the community understand that we are here to provide them with a safe and secure environment.

“That support we are receiving, and I know we will receive into the future, reaffirms our belief in why we joined the NSW police force.”

Supt Holahan said the command would learn from the court’s decision and move forward.

“As a professional police officer I have to abide by the decision of that court and move forward.

“I want the community to

understand that in the event the same incident occurred tonight that our police would respond and deal with that situation again.

“That’s what you want us to do and that’s what we want to do.

“I have been a policeman long enough. There are some court matters that I have expected to win that I’ve lost, and some that I have expected to lose that I’ve won.”

“At the end of the day we will learn some lessons from this and we will make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Supt Holahan said he was

disappointed to hear comments referring to the trial as a game which was won by the accused.

“This is real life and I find those comments offensive that people would refer to this as a game,” he said. “I have got nothing but pride and admiration for the police on the front line that night. They exemplified everything that was good in policing on that night. The results we got reassured the community and brought harmony back to that area.”

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