POLICE officers put their lives on the line to protect the community, and keep order in the city and it is hard to imagine life without them.
Sworn officers, civilian personnel and volunteers from across the state recently gathered to celebrate the Rotary Clubs of NSW 2012 NSW Police Officer of the Year Awards.
At the gala dinner, Castlereagh Local Area Command's Sergeant Scott Russell was named NSW Police Officer of the Year.
Sergeant Russell is stationed at Collarenebri where he oversees policing in a town of almost 450 people.
Castlereagh LAC Commander, Superintendent Bob Noble, was quick to praise Sergeant Russell, particularly for his efforts since late 2010.
"Regrettably, there was a fatal police shooting in Collarenebri close to two years ago which led to a fair degree of angst between police and the local community," Superintendent Noble said.
"Sergeant Russell came in and did an outstanding job to establish a rapport with the people affected, mend relationships and lead that community back to more prosperous times.
"He's a very compassionate man with a great sense of humour, and he genuinely cares about people."
In a further endorsement of his service to the community, Sergeant Russell was also awarded Field Operations Local Area Command Police Officer of the Year.
He has been a member of the NSW Police Force since 1988, and he said being presented with the two honours was both humbling and unexpected. The prestigious ceremony is a reminder of the sacrifice and efforts Dubbo police officers make daily to keep residents safe. To all police officers around the state, give yourselves a pat on the back.