THERE are jokes about red carpets at the Margaret River Police Station now officer-in-charge Sergeant Paul “Bear” Daly has become the first person to win the WA Police Officer of the Year Award twice.
Sgt Daly, who has been OIC in Margaret River since April 2010, previously took out the award in 2008 while stationed at Beverley.
His efforts to build links between police and other sections of the community, especially following the devastating Margaret River bushfires last November were one of the reasons he won.
Sgt Daly has also gone above and beyond in his own time to help those affected by the fires. Some of his work has included helping to re-roof a house, working to rebuild a retaining wall for a man whose property was destroyed and mulching a burnt-out garden for a Redgate resident.
"Winning this award was just amazing,” Paul said.
“I was alongside two other very worthy finalists who I believe equally deserved to win. I certainly didn’t sign up to re-write history 17 years ago.
"It is a great indicator that I am getting things right. I have the support of the greater community and that the team at Margaret River is performing. I think that last point is especially important.
“I am not the only officer in Margaret River. My staff are just brilliant, when we face adversity, they rise together and we overcome it. I don’t think I could have got half of my objectives met without them.”
Local fire captain Kevin Cartwright said: “The professional relationship that exists with Margaret River Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services and the local police has never been better.”
Several members of the public who nominated Sgt Daly referred to his rapport with, and support of, people involved with or forced to confront circumstances arising from traumatic crimes and suicides. They praised Sgt Daly’s compassion and commitment.
In addition Sgt Daly and his team at the Margaret River Police Station have achieved a 26% reduction in crime and continually promoted a district road-policing strategy that has reduced fatalities and drink-driving in the region.
Sgt Daly receives a cheque for $5000 from Police and Nurses Credit Society and a weekend for two at Crown Perth.
He won ahead of two other finalists, Carnarvon Senior Constable Andrea Musulin and Kununurra Police Station OIC Senior Sergeant Jack Lee who will receive a cheque for $1000 each.
This year there were approximately 90 nominations submitted for the award, for more than 40 police officers from around the State.