A man who threatened a 25-year-old woman at knife point during a terrifying home invasion in Dubbo might still be walking the city's streets if it weren't for the efforts of Detective Senior Constable Katrina Sherlock.
After the incident was reported to police in March 2018, Detective Sherlock managed an investigation that resulted in the offender being caught and taken into custody within days of the attack.
He remains behind bars and will be sentenced in the District Court on May 9.
In recognition of how she handled this case, Detective Sherlock was awarded a commendation certificate from Orana Mid-Western Police District Superintendent Peter McKenna on Thursday.
At a major awards presentation event that recognised extraordinary achievements and exemplary police service provided by officers across the region, Detective Sherlock's work was praised by Superintendent McKenna.
"Detective Sherlock had to compile the evidence for court and deal with the emotions and expectations of the victim," he said.
"This investigation and protecting the community from this offender was our number one priority at the time.
"Detective Sherlock put together a brief of evidence so strong that the offender had no little choice but to confess to his crimes and make a guilty plea."
The brief of evidence and detective's attention to detail was so thorough that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution wrote to the police district commander to praise the detective's performance.
"I grew up in Bathurst, studied criminal justice at Charles Sturt University and went to the police academy at Goulburn," Detective Sherlock told the Daily Liberal.
"I was fortunate enough to get stationed at Bathurst and moved to Dubbo around four years ago
"Country policing is my passion and this is where I want to work."
In Dubbo, Detective Sherlock and her team investigate serious and complex crimes that take place over longer periods of time.
The work she and her colleagues do often goes unnoticed, but at the awards event it was clear just how much bravery, dedication and passion is required to be a top performing officer.
Officers were awarded for:
- dismantling drug networks with limited resources
- showing bravery in the face of having shovels and concrete thrown at them
- evacuating homes and supporting communities during dangerous bushfires
- introducing effective harm minimisation and anti-drink driving campaigns to improve road safety
- engaging young people to prevent a life of crime and
- responding calmly to horrific scenes many people would find unimaginable and unbearable.