GALLERY: Police Officer of the Year Awards

In an awards ceremony held in Griffith on Friday night, local police officers were recognized for their outstanding commitment and tireless work for the community.

Sergeant Brett Ryan was named Police Officer of the Year for his work tackling alcohol-related crime.

Sergeant Brett Ryan (middle, pictures with Rotary's Denis Conroy and Local Area Commander Detective Superintendent Michael Rowan) has been named Police Officer of the Year.

Sergeant Brett Ryan (middle, pictures with Rotary's Denis Conroy and Local Area Commander Detective Superintendent Michael Rowan) has been named Police Officer of the Year.

Presenting Sgt Ryan with the prestigious award, Rotary Club of Griffith East President Dennis Conroy said through his work the humble police officer had made "a difference to the lives of everyone in our community".

"We have seen a 15 per cent decrease in alcohol-related crime and Sergeant Ryan has made a significant difference to community safety around licensed premises in Griffith."

After joining the police force in 1999 in Campbelltown, Sgt Ryan worked in Leeton and Narrandera before moving to Griffith in 2000.

"I love being part of the community and I always try to make a little difference to the people," the 38-year-old said.

"It is a privilege to do this job and the award is a wonderful recognition.

"It reflects on how the community holds us at high esteem. People want to go down the streets and feel safe - and it is our job to make sure it is safe."

Sgt Ryan said he wanted to be a police officer since he was five years of age.

"I'm happy and lucky to be able to do a job I enjoy and love," he said.

Now in its fifth year, the Police Officer of the Year Awards aim to give thanks and show appreciation for the work that is being done by the local Area Command.

"With the awards we want to build a bridge between the community and police - and it is pleasing to see that so many people put nominations in for police officers they think deserve recognition," the Rotary Club's MrConroy said.

Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Michael Rowan, said he felt "absolutely privileged" to be part of the local police force.

"As part of the job, a police officer can make a difference for somebody every single day in their working life," Det Supt Rowan said.

"It is wonderful to see how many members of the public think that our officers have made that much of a difference that it needs recognition."

Griffith mayor John Dal Broi said acknowledging the work local police officers do was "extremely important".

"All too often we see our police put in a position they should never be placed in.

"I have enormous respect for our police and I believe all officers deserve an award for the fantastic job they do for our community," Mr Dal Broi said.

The awards night raised $9000 for the Griffith Post School Options program, which provides support for young adults with disabilities. 

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