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Promising candidates in for Police Officer of Year

***TBC: ANDREW CONWAY SUITABLE FOR PUBLICATION*** Police Officer of the Year candidates (at back, from left) Constables Russell Taylor, Andrew Conway and Nick Tanner, (at front) Constable Simone Beckett and Senior Constable Tim Stephens get set for a gala awards night on March 1. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times
***TBC: ANDREW CONWAY SUITABLE FOR PUBLICATION*** Police Officer of the Year candidates (at back, from left) Constables Russell Taylor, Andrew Conway and Nick Tanner, (at front) Constable Simone Beckett and Senior Constable Tim Stephens get set for a gala awards night on March 1. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times Claudia Baxter

IPSWICH police officers know that people's opinion of their work is often coloured by what some may call negative interactions, such as handing out speeding fines.

But it's the positive side of police work that will be recognised at the Police Officer of the Year awards early next month.

Twelve officers are lining up for the title after being nominated by both their colleagues and the general public.

Officer in charge of the Ipswich CBD Beat at Riverlink, Senior Constable Tim Stephens, has been in the Queensland Police Service since 2003.

"I've always seen the job as multi-faceted," he said.

"The biggest challenge is getting the public to trust you - to know that we're not the bad guys.

"With most crimes, you need the community to assist.

"The nominations show that the community appreciates what we do. It's a bit of recognition."

Sen Const Stephens said Ipswich was a wonderful place to work.

"Ipswich gets a bad wrap but it's a good town," he said.

Const Russell Taylor is stationed at Springfield.

He is actively involved with Neighbourhood Watch and, in his off-duty hours, supports Blue Light discos.

Highly qualified Ipswich Scenes of Crime team member Const Nick Tanner wanted to do more than "just a job" when he joined the QPS.

"I wanted to do something that I could be proud of when telling people what I did for a job," he said.

Const Andrew Conway enjoys the challenges of country policing at Boonah.

He lends his support to the local SES, local schools and his community in fostering a safer environment.

Simone Beckett, a constable at Karana Downs station, was nominated by a person she'd helped during a time of bereavement.

She's seen by many as an indigenous role model.

According to Const Beckett, the best parts of her job are being able to help people and see positive results.

The gala awards dinner will be held at the Ipswich Civic Centre on March 1 from 7pm.

To book, phone Michael Byrne on 0412 056 620.

Topics:  awards night neighbourhood watch police



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