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Ipswich's top cop puts her people first

Senior Constable Lisa Hilllary from the Goodna Police Beat has won Rotary Police Officer of the Year award. Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times
Senior Constable Lisa Hilllary from the Goodna Police Beat has won Rotary Police Officer of the Year award. Photo: Kate Czerny / The Queensland Times Kate Czerny

IPSWICH'S newly crowned Police Officer of the Year may not have been looking her most photogenic when she accepted the award, but it was just further proof of her commitment to the Goodna community.

Sporting a freshly shaved head, Senior Constable Lisa Hillary shed a tear or two as she appeared at the third annual Rotary Police Officer of the Year Awards at the Ipswich Civic Centre.

The Goodna Police Beat officer was rewarded for her ongoing efforts to work alongside her community. Her efforts have included becoming the Adopt-A-Cop at Goodna State School and launching the "Connect to Culture" program for indigenous children.

The mum also spearheaded a campaign to clean up a Goodna skate park in July and August last year, after it became overrun with hobos and drug dealers.

"I had my hand over my chest because I was so shocked," Snr Const Hillary said.

"I thought I might have been in the running for Community Police Officer of the Year, so when they announced that Matt Thomson won that, I relaxed and thought I would be able to kick back and enjoy the rest of the night."

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart was there to congratulate the winner - who only three days earlier had subjected herself to a two blade shaver to help raise funds for leukaemia research - and the work of the winner's hairdresser.

Harrisville officer in charge Sergeant Matt Thomson and Sergeant Leith Marshall from the education and training office picked up the other major awards on the night - the Community Officer and Peer Officer of the Year awards respectively.

A further 10 Ipswich officers received commendations.

Ipswich North Rotary member Michael Byrne said the awards were growing in stature each year.

"We had about 15 nominations the first year and 24 this year," Mr Byrne said.

"It really is the community of Ipswich saying thank you to the police for making us the safest town in Australia."

Ipswich's concept for the awards has actually been adopted in Dorset, England, after the father of last year's winner, Detective Sergeant David Hunter of the CPIU, attended the 2014 ceremony.

Sgt Hunter's father was so impressed with what he saw, that he lobbied authorities back home to do the same thing.

Mr Byrne said Ipswich North Rotary was already considering extending future awards to include firefighters and paramedics.

Snr Const Hillary said it felt great to be recognised.

"It's especially nice when the nominations come from your peers," she said.

Commendations

  • Inspector Michelle Stenner
  • Senior Sergeant Brett Wendt
  • Sergeant Ian Stephens
  • Senior Constable Timothy Walker
  • Constable Steve Cullen
  • Constable Peter Lambert
  • Detective Senior Constable Dan Cunningham
  • Detective Senior Constable Michael Kitching
  • Plain Clothes Senior Constable Blaise Cooper
  • Plain Clothes Senior Constable Aaron Ferguson

Topics:  policing