Detective Dean Schroder has been awarded a Police Commissioner’s Commendation, for his work in talking down a suicidal armed offender.
In presenting the award on Friday, Area Commander Mathew Arnold-Kelly said that the “quite rare and prestigious honour” was in recognition of the “bravery and professionalism he demonstrated in resolving a very difficult situation”.
Dean, who was working in Cromwell at the time with partner Detective Gary Hyndman, said that it was an incredibly tense situation as the “mentally unstable man was threatening to commit suicide” and was armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
“We couldn’t walk away, even to help ourselves,” he says.
He credits his partnership with Gary for their ability “to talk him around and disarm him”. He was happy that no one was injured and that they could get the man the mental health treatment he needed.
Also awarded was Community Patrol stalwart Laurie Christian, who received a District Commander’s Commendation for 24 years service as a dedicated volunteer.
Laurie, who monitors the cameras during night watch, received the award to rapturous applause from the police. He is a founding member of the Nelson Community Patrol, initially doing patrol work before moving to night watch, and prior to this was a firefighter for 21 years.
He says that he enjoys “the comradeship and support of all of the police staff” and that he “won’t be stopping anytime soon”.
Mat acknowledged that “our communities demand a high level of service and our role is to deliver this, and more, but we do this in partnership with our communities, with council, and with other agencies”.
He also noted that it was important to “not just to recognise staff and their achievements, but their families also, who don’t get the recognition they deserve”.
The ceremony held at the Nelson Police Station also recognised several other members of the police force:
New Zealand Police 14 year-long service and good conduct medal was awarded to Senior Constable Karyn Ash and Senior Constable Jarrod Illingworth;
New Zealand Police 21 year-long service and good conduct clasp was awarded to Senior Constable Nigel Orpwood and Senior Constable Bruce Telford;
New Zealand Police 14 year badge awarded to Ms Bridget Fahy;
Australia G20 Citation 2014 clasp awarded to Constable Robyn Healy;
New Zealand General Service Medal Bougainville awarded to Senior Constable Wayne Corbett;
District Commissioner’s Commendation awarded to Detective Alexandra York;
Diploma in Workplace Practice awarded to Constable Jason Fitzgerald;
and a Certificate of Promotion to Sergeant Carwyn Blackmore.