Ipswich cop honoured for work in crime prevention
EVER since she was a little girl, Ipswich police officer Sergeant Nadine Webster has wanted to give people the tools and knowledge they need to protect themselves.
On Tuesday, Sgt Webster was named a recipient of an Australian Police Medal, an Australia Day award acknowledging her work in preventing crime and improving community safety.
Sgt Webster can say she has achieved her childhood dream, having helped communities across the state during her nearly 30-year career with the Queensland Police Service.
Though she was first drawn to the idea of one day working with the dog squad, her passion for community steered her career’s direction to the Crime Prevention Unit.
She is now the Officer-in-charge at the Ipswich CPU and has worked at the station for 14 years.
“The effects some crimes can have on members of the public can be lifelong and can cause a lot of pain and suffering,” she said.
“Rather than just targeting the offenders and arresting them, it’s also about educating the community and working with them to be proactive and prevent some of those offences from occurring.”
Sgt Webster secured a grant in her very first year of policing so a BMX track could be built for the small community she worked in at the time.
“It was for the young people, to give them something to do and something to entertain them. A lot of them were around riding their bikes but (the track) gave them somewhere to do it,” Sgt Webster said.
“There were kids on pushbikes not wearing helmets and (I wanted to give) them somewhere they could ride safely and encouraging them to do it in a fun, safe way. I’ve always had that interest in community engagement.”
Moving to Mt Isa, Sgt Webster then became one of the first five school-based police officers statewide.
“It was role modelling and mentoring but it was also an educational role,” she said.
“You fit in with the school curriculum and work with the school community – not just the young people but the parents, families and teacher.”
Sgt Webster said the award was the result of having supportive colleagues and family.
“It’s not just for me but is recognition of the team we have here,” she said.
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.