Tea Gardens Policeman receives Commissioner’s Award for Courage

Senior Constable Moffat receiving the Commendation at Soldiers Point.

COURAGE and community-mindedness saw Tea Gardens’ local Senior Constable and Lockup Keeper Trent Moffat presented with the Commissioner’s Commendation for Courage at Soldiers Point on Friday, 12 May.

Awarded for “outstanding courage and dedication to duty during the 2015 Stroud floods”, the commendation details Trent’s actions amid ‘cyclonic weather conditions’, flash flooding and the Karuah River’s bursting banks.

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Mr Moffat, locally based at the time, was able to bring his personal dinghy into Stroud Showground, and risked his life with other police to free a stranded couple from treacherous water and hidden debris.

“Constable Moffat then completed several rescues, some in the dark of night,” read the Commendation.

“If it were not for Constable Moffat’s resourcefulness and determination, numerous lives could have been lost on the day of the flood.”

Trent insisted that his actions were not special, and his being a locally-based policeman, rather than commuting, made all the difference.

“It’s a big thing to have cops living locally,” Mr Moffat told NOTA, “Anyone living outside of town simply could not have responded, they’d have been cut off.”

“I was not alone, and all who could help were helping – a lot of people were doing a lot of things that week, I just happened to be there,” Mr Moffat explained.

As the local Lockup Keeper at Tea Gardens Station, Trent supports the ‘old-fashioned’ concept of police living locally, saying, “It means the cops have local knowledge, and the people know them, so the advantages outweigh any risks.”

“Even if the station is ‘closed’, the Lockup Keeper is always ‘on-call’, which really helps when police have massive areas to cover, the Keepers can be called on to help in isolated areas.”

Not just a local resident, Trent has long and strong family ties to the Tea Gardens area, with founders on both sides of the family, as well as postings at Stroud, Raymond Terrace and Karuah.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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