Lake Illawarra’s dedicated police officers and civilians were recognised for their courage and life-saving actions.
The district command’s Medal and Awards Ceremony was held at Port Kembla Golf Club on Wednesday.
Lake Illawarra Police District’s Senior Sergeant crime coordinator Matthew Brophey congratulated all award recipients.
The highest accolade went to Leading Senior Constable Leigh Dal Bon. She received the Region Commander’s Certificate of Merit for going above and beyond the call of duty.
“The officer entered swampy water at Jamberoo to save a woman who was trying to take her own life,” he said.
Two senior constables received the Region Commander’s Commendation.
“Senior Constable Bradlee Martin and Senior Constable Vincent Pleski came across a van at a reserve near Lake Illawarra in the early hours of the morning,” Senior Sergeant Brophey said. “Due to the history of the van, the officers had reason to search it.
“They found two firearms with ammunition, drugs, a chair and a kit used to carry out rape as well as child pornography on a USB and phone.
“That discovery by the officers probably saved a life or at least stopped a serious crime.
“A third officer was also recognised because he found the phone the offender threw into lake.”
Senior Sergeant Brophey said two civilians were acknowledged for their life-saving actions. They were awarded the Police District Commander’s Certificate of Appreciation.
“One man came across a woman on the M1 overpass near Haywards Bay,” he said. “She was going to take her own life when the man built up a rapport with her and kept her occupied until police arrived. She got more upset when police came so the man stayed and helped to talk her down.
“The other man assisted a bike rider who had a heart attack at Minnamurra. The man saved the rider’s life by performing CPR until emergency service members could take over.”
Police officers were also given medals for their years of service and volunteers in policing were recognised for their assistance to the police force.