Working effectively with young people at risk of entering the criminal justice system, or already engaged with the system, would be a tough task for most people.
Aboriginal community liaison officer Willy Middleton has been doing it for close to 20 years.
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"He is both respected and revered by young persons in the community and whether on or off duty, makes himself available to those that need him," Orana Mid-Western Police District Superintendent Peter McKenna said of Mr Middleton, who was awarded a certificate of merit at a police awards event in Dubbo last Thursday.
The Narromine resident, who works from Dubbo police station, said he has worked with hundreds of cops and clients over the years.
He provides advice and support to police tasked with responding to often complex Aboriginal issues across the region in a culturally appropriate and effective way.
"We try and bridge the gap between Aboriginal communities and the police," Mr Middleton said.
"Crime prevention is a huge focus."