Recognition for quake work

SALLY KIDSON
Last updated 12:00 15/12/2012

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Police officers who worked in the aftermath of February's devastating Christchurch earthquake have had their courage and hard work in the gruelling post-quake days recognised.

Staff from the Tasman police district, which includes Nelson Bays, were among the first police from outside Canterbury to arrive in the devastated city following the February 2011 quake, which killed 185 people.

Officers and staff from Nelson Bays were given their Canterbury Earthquake Citations yesterday in a ceremony at Nelson Police Station.

Police deputy commissioner Mike Bush presented the citation to the officers and staff members.

Police from Nelson worked in several roles including working in the aftermath of the quake searching collapsed buildings and masonry for people still alive and bodies. Other work encompassed family liaison, forensics and normal police work in the city.

Tasman police district commander Superintendent Richard Chambers acknowledged the important role the families of police officers played during that difficult time, supporting police and staff in their work.

"Without that support it would be pretty hard to do what we needed to do."

The citation ribbon is in the Canterbury colours in red and black and was awarded to those who worked in the Canterbury earthquake zone from February 22 to April 13.

"It recognises the unique circumstances during this unprecedented emergency."

Mr Chambers said the work of Nelson police in Christchurch showed Nelson policing at its best and there was much to be proud of.

He also acknowledged those who stayed in Nelson and had extra pressure of coping with increased work load due to police deployed to Christchurch and the flow-on affects of people coming into Nelson following the quake.

Those who have received a citation are Constable Kyle Abbott, Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews, Constable Donna Bower, Detective John Nicholls, Senior Constable Gerry Tonkin, Constable Steve Berkett, Constable Carwyn Blackmore, Senior Constable Alfred Blair, Sean Butler, Jennie Chisnall, Constable Adrian Cupit, Sergeant Mike Fitzsimons, Constable Steve Gardiner, Senior Sergeant Dave Gibson, Inspector Steve Greally, Sergeant Blair Hall, Constable Rob Hambrook, Constable Peter Jackson, Detective Sergeant Mark Kaveney, Constable Andrew Keogan, Sergeant Shane Miles, Constable Andrew Nevin, Sergeant Karl Parfitt, Constable Anita

Pearless, Constable Simon Thomas, Donna Wardle, Sergeant Michael Wardle, Senior Constable Phil Wylie, Constable Malcolm York, Constable Karina Coote, Constable Chris Gladstone, Constable Reuben McCormack, Senior Constable Ian McKitrick, Constable Gerrad Robinson, Constable Peter Carmody, Senior Constable Glyn Cunningham, Sergeant Malcolm Drummond, Senior Constable Kelvin Duff, Constable Keith Jordan, Constable David Thompson, Constable Jonathan Davies.

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Inspector Ross Lienert, Inspector Iain McKenzie, David Kettley, John Robinson, Alana Newlands, Vera Perry, Sergeant Terry Richards.

Jeanette Wilcox, a forensic dentist from Nelson, deployed as part of the Police victim identification team also received the award.

- The Nelson Mail

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