A new era of policing in our region will begin on Monday, but it’s only fair we pay homage to a short, but very successful, era that has drawn to an end.
The re-engineering of the NSW Police Force has seen the formation of the Orana Mid-Western policing region, a new area comprising the old Orana and Mudgee Local Area Commands with some other areas thrown in.
At the announcement of the new region last Thursday, it was also revealed that Superintendent Peter McKenna will take over as commander.
To get the job, he beat a high-quality field that included Inspector Scott Tanner, who has been acting as commander of the Orana LAC since early in 2016.
On Monday, Inspector Tanner will start a short-term role and after the Christmas break he will base himself in Armidale as the New England region goes about its own re-engineering process.
And to say he will be missed is an understatement.
So often the only interaction community members have with police comes in terrible circumstances.
But Inspector Tanner has gone out of his way to involve himself and other members of the local force with the community through his involvement with Rotary and Apollo House, and through projects such as Coffee With A Cop, Free Cuppa For The Driver, and the donation of worn police boots to local charity.
Coupled with his proactive and highly-visible approach to reducing crime rates in key areas, particularly property and drug-related offences, he is a big loss to our city.
From a media perspective, Inspector Tanner has been easily accessible and eager to help us inform the community of issues, whether they be good, bad or indifferent.
The residents of Dubbo and the neighbouring centres and shires covered by the old Orana LAC owe a debt of gratitude to Inspector Tanner and his team for their commitment to our safety and for their fresh approach to community engagement in recent times.
Superintendent McKenna is a highly-regarded officer in his own right and we welcome him to our city and our region.
He takes over the new command at a time when many key crime statistics are reasonably low and no doubt he will be eager to continue the good work being done day in and day out by our local officers.