Nine members of the NSW Police Force have been awarded the prestigious Australian Police Medal (APM) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The awards are announced twice annually, on Australia Day and the Queen’s Birthday in June.
NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, APM, has congratulated the recipients on their nominations and commitment to policing.
“The Australian Police Medal recognises exemplary service within our police forces, and all of today’s recipients are deserving of their nominations,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“They bring a wealth of experience, dedication and professionalism to the force and it is my pleasure to thank and congratulate them.
“On behalf of the NSW Police Force, it’s my honour to acknowledge and congratulate the recipients for their ongoing commitment to serving the people of New South Wales,” Commissioner Scipione said.
The nine recipients are:
• Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsiogiannis, Commander, SCC Fraud & Cybercrime Squad;
• Superintendent Craig Sheridan, Commander, State Planning Unit;
• Superintendent David Donohue, Commander, St George Local Area Command;
• Detective Inspector Mark Henney, Investigations Coordinator, Robbery & Serious Crime Squad;
• Inspector Brett Smith, Coordinator, Tactical Operations Unit;
• Inspector Darren Mobbs, Controller, State Surveillance Branch;
• Inspector Francine Poole, Zone Commander, FSG Crime Scene Specialist Zone;
• Inspector Garry Sims, Duty Officer, Hawkesbury Local Area Command;
• Senior Sergeant Malcolm Unicomb, Senior Cluster Supervisor, Orana Traffic Highway Patrol Cluster.
Detective Superintendent Arthur KATSOGIANNIS – Commander – SCC Fraud & Cybercrime Squad –
Det Supt Katsogiannis joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Trainee in 1980 at the NSW Police Academy, Redfern. He was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1980, where he was stationed at No. 8 Division (Balmain). He entered the Criminal Investigation field serving at No. 3 Division (Darlinghurst), where he was designated as a Detective in 1985, while serving at the State Investigative Group. He later served in the Fraud Section, Bankstown, Professional Integrity Command and Marrickville Local Area Command, where in 1999, he was promoted to the rank of Inspector (Duty Officer) and later served at the Flemington Local Area Command as a Crime Manager. In 2003, he was promoted to the rank of Superintendent, as Commander of the Leichhardt Local Area Command, he later served as the Commander of the Burwood Local Area, SCC – Firearms & Organised Crime, SCC – Gangs Squad, prior to being appointed Commander, SCC – Fraud & Cybercrime Squad, his current position as Commander of the SCC Fraud & Cybercrime Squad in 2014.
Det Supt Katsogiannis has performed criminal investigation duties for a majority of his career and has led some of the most serious criminal investigations in the State of NSW, included but not limited to, serious public disorder offences, manufacturing of illegal firearms and continued efforts by various Strike Forces to dismantle Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs and investigate their ongoing criminal activity. He has been credited with recommendations that resulted in the implementation of Robbery and Serious Crime Squad and Metropolitan Robbery Unit. He has been involved in the introduction of the current consorting legislation of which he was a cooperate spokesperson.
Superintendent Craig William Sheridan – Commander – State Planning Unit –
Supt Sheridan joined the NSWPF as a trainee in 1986 at the NSW Police Academy, Goulburn. He was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1986, where he was stationed at Redfern. He has served at Darling Harbour, Broadway, Transit Police – Wollongong, and Harbourside Local Area Commands, where in 2004, he was promoted to the rank of Inspector (Duty Officer) and later served at The Rocks Local Area Command. In 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Superintendent as Commander of the State Planning Unit, his current position.
Supt Sheridan is the main interface between the New South Wales Police Force and all government and other organisations in the event environment. He is a member of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), Event Organisation Group (EOG) which is the co-ordination body of all major events in NSW. He has overseen planning for all major events and incidents in NSW. These include and not limited to, New Years Eve, Sydney Mardi Gras, Australia Day and V8 Supercars at Homebush. This also includes ‘one-off’ events as the 2014 G20-related events, 2015 Asia Football Cup and Cricket World Cup.
In additions to planning major events, Supt Sheridan has also performed the role of Commander in large-scale events such as the Royal Australian Naval Fleet Review in 2013 and the Royal tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2014. He has made significant contributions to emergency management and was instrumental in the deployment of NSW Police Officers to the Christchurch Earthquake in 2011.
Superintendent David Michael Donohue – Commander – St George Local Area Command –
Supt Donohue joined the New South Wales Police Force as a trainee in 1988 at the NSW Police Academy, Goulburn. He was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1988, where he was stationed at Maroubra. He later served at Sydney Transit Police. He entered the Criminal Investigation field serving at Mascot, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bondi and Eastern Suburbs. He was designated as a Detective in 1994. He performed general duties at Redfern, Eastern Beaches Local Area Command and Rosebay, where in 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Inspector (Duty Officer). He later served at Campsie as the Crime Manager and Commander of the Mental Health Intervention Team, where he performed duty at the rank of Superintendent. Supt Donohue was promoted to his current rank in 2010, as Staff Officer to Deputy Commissioner – Field Operations. He served as Commander of the Sutherland Local Area Command prior to being appointed Commander, St George Local Area Command, his current position in 2012.
Supt Donohue has been the Corporate Spokesperson for Mental Health and represents the NSW Police Force at various committees on mental health. He has co-authored a literature review on Policing and Mental Health, which was released internationally. This literature review formed the basis of research into the development of the Mental Health Intervention Team (MHIT) training model which involved specialist mental health training to frontline police to enable them to deal with mentally ill and disturbed persons. A one-day course is currently being delivered to all operational police officers in NSW. He has presented in numerous international forums, including the presentation on the MHIT in Berlin at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health in 2011. For 10 years of his career, he has dedicated his service to protecting some of the most vulnerable people in the community; those suffering mental illness. Policing and mental health is one of the key challenges that face policing now and into the future. MHIT is the leading training program in the country.
Detective Inspector Mark John Henney – Investigations Co-ordinator – Robbery & Serious Crime Squad
– Det Insp Henney joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Trainee in 1980 at the NSW Police Academy, Redfern. He was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1980, where he was stationed at Campsie; confirmed as a Constable in 1981, whilst performing General Duties at Punchbowl, and served at the Goulburn Academy and performed Highway Patrol duties at Bass Hill.
Det Insp Henney entered the Criminal Investigation field serving at Lakemba, where he was designated as a Detective in 1993. In 1995, he was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant at the Fraud Enforcement Agency. He later served with the Commercial Crime Unit of Crime Agencies and the Homicide Squad, where in 2000 he was promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector. He served for a period of 10 years with the Homicide Squad prior to moving to his current position as Detective Inspector of the Robbery & Serious Crime Squad in 2008.
Since 1998, he has led investigations into homicides, armed robbery, kidnapping, extortion and product contamination, duties he continues to this day.
As well as his expertise in homicide and armed robbery investigation, Det Insp Henney is considered the most experienced current practitioner within the NSW Police Force in responding to, investigating and resolving kidnapping for ransom incident. He provides knowledge, expertise, guidance and leadership to staff at the Robbery & Serious Crime Squad, as well as investigators across the State. Det Insp Henney is a qualified barrister at law and in the community he is active in coaching junior softball at representative level.
Inspector Brett Douglas Smith – Coordinator – Tactical Operations Unit –
Insp Smith joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Trainee in 1989 at the NSW Police Academy, Goulburn. He was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1990, where he was stationed at Lakemba. Inspector Smith was confirmed as a Constable in 1991 whilst performing General Duties at Lakemba. In 1995, he entered the tactical policing field, performing duties with the Tactical Operations Unit, where in 2004; he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, as a Team Leader. In 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Inspector (Coordinator) at the Tactical Operations Unit, his current position.
Insp Smith’s policing service has greatly centred on his expertise in the demanding and stressful environment of tactical policing. He has led and provided effective direction to a large group of very specialised and skilled officers within the Tactical Operations Unit. Insp Smith is responsible for co-ordinating and providing support to all policing matters involving high risk incidents and dangerous offenders in NSW. Insp Smith has undertaken counter terrorism and tactical courses with other similar units of the Australian Defence Force. He has been instrumental in reviewing tactical training courses and systems, ensuring that the NSW Police Force has an effective, controlled and professional tactical response capability to deal with any high risk or terrorist incident.
Inspector Darren James Mobbs – Controller – State Surveillance Branch –
Insp Mobbs joined the New South Wales Police Force as a trainee in 1987 at the NSW Police Academy, Goulburn. He was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1987, where he was stationed at Fairfield. He was promoted to his current rank in 2004 and posted to his current command in 1996, as Inspector at the State Surveillance Branch.
Insp Mobbs has served in the criminal investigation field at Parramatta District and later with the Cumberland Anti-Theft Unit. He returned to Granville, where he performed general duties prior to undertaking surveillance duties at the State Surveillance Branch, where in 2004, he was promoted to the rank of Inspector (Controller) at his current Command.
Insp Mobbs has spent a majority of his career at the State Surveillance Branch and is the longest serving member. He is responsible for managing the deployment of surveillance teams in support of major criminal investigations across the state. He was in part responsible for writing the Standard Operating Procedures used by the Command, which are regarded as best practice by surveillance units nationally.
Insp Mobbs has held the position of Surveillance Capability Advisor to the Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) since its inception in 2005, after the conclusion of a major terrorism investigation, Operation ‘Pendennis’. He is the representative of all Australian and New Zealand surveillance units and has been instrumental in identifying the shortfall in surveillance capabilities across the nation and securing Commonwealth funding to address these issues. He is well respected across all jurisdictions as an authority in the field of covert physical surveillance and his work with the ANZCTC has ensured there is interoperability and consultation between various surveillance units across the Australia and New Zealand. His distinguished career in this field coupled with his experience and innovation has kept the NSW Police Force at the forefront of covert physical surveillance.
Inspector Francine Louise Poole – Zone Commander – FSG Crime Scene Specialist Zone –
Insp Poole joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Trainee in 1986 at the NSW Police Academy, Goulburn. She was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1986, where she was stationed at Mona Vale. She has served at Manly and early in her career she transferred to Physical Evidence Branch, what is now the Forensic Services Group, where she performed duties as a crime scene officer. In 2007, she was promoted to the rank of Inspector as the Manager of the Professional Services Branch prior to being appointed as the Zone Commander of the Forensic Services Group – Crime Scene Specialist Zone, her current position in 2014.
Insp Poole has undertaken crime scene investigation duties since 1989. She has attended and assisted numerous crime scenes in the State of New South Wales as well as the following crime scene investigations:
– 1996 Port Arthur Massacre in Tasmania,
– 1998 United Nations forensic examination of mass grave casualties in Bosnia,
– 2005, where she coordinated the ante-mortem and post mortem central information centre in Thailand following the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.
Insp Poole has made a significant contribution to policing in the New South Wales through her professionalism and dedication to forensic investigation. She has represented the NSW Police Force internationally, nationally and internally, and is well regarded by her peers and counterparts in forensic investigation.
Inspector Garry Keith Sims – Duty Officer – Hawkesbury Local Area Command –
Insp Sims joined the New South Wales Police Force as a Trainee in 1975 at the NSW Police Academy, Redfern. He attested as a Probationary Constable that year and was stationed at No. 9 Division (Burwood). He later served at No. 9 Division (Drummoyne). In 1979, he entered the Criminal Investigation field serving at No. 21 Division – Special Squad, 7 Division (Newtown). He performed criminal investigation duties at No. 27 Division (Blacktown), Bathurst and the Fraud Section until 1987, when he resigned from the NSW Police Force. Insp Sims rejoined the NSW Police Force in 1998 and was confirmed as a Senior Constable in 1998, while performing General Duties at Blacktown Local Area Command. He performed duties at Holroyd Local Area Command and later at Rosehill Local Area Command, where in 2006, he was promoted to the rank of Inspector (Duty Officer). He later served at the Penrith Local Area Command and the Education and Training Command – Applied Leadership Training. In 2014, he was posted to his current command, as Inspector at Hawkesbury Local Area Command.
Insp Sims has a vast amount of policing experience both in metropolitan and regional areas of NSW, in his combined 28 years of service. With his policing experience and his academic qualifications, he imparts his knowledge to students entering their career by presenting tutorials and classes to new recruits at the NSW Police Academy, it reflects his dedication to the profession of policing.
Insp Sims is also a contributor to the community in his role as the Chairman of the Board at the Mountains Christian College at Blackheath and spends a considerable amount of time developing the character of young people and support the work of the academic staff at the school.
Senior Sergeant Malcolm Wallace Unicomb – Senior Cluster Supervisor – Orana Traffic Highway Patrol Cluster
– Snr Sgt Unicomb joined the New South Wales Police Force as a trainee in 1974 at the NSW Police Academy, Redfern. He was attested as a Probationary Constable in 1974, where he was stationed at No. 1 Division (Central). He has served at Traffic Branch, Highway Patrol duties at the No. 15 Division (Maroubra), North Sydney, and Coonabarabran, where in 2007 was promoted to the rank of Senior Sergeant (Traffic Coordinator) at the Orana Command/Western Operations. In 2012, he was appointed as the Senior Cluster Supervisor, Traffic & Highway Patrol, his current position.
Snr Sgt Unicomb has completed over 40 years of distinguished service to the NSW Police Force; a majority of this service has been completed within the Western Region of NSW and involved traffic enforcement and Road Safety as a Highway Patrol Officer. He has engaged the community at many levels by creating his own community radio segment, delivering a weekly police report to the Coonabarabran area to promote road safety, in his own time. He has been involved in, and held, executive positions on many committees within the local community, including Coonabarabran and Coolah (now Warrumbungle Shire) Local Traffic Committee, the Coonabarabran Pre-School President, founding member of the Coonabarabran Fringe Bushfire Brigade, Coonabarabran Scouts and founding member of the Warrumbungle Area Radio Committee.