New England police are part of the 450-strong contingent of cops being deployed every week to police the NSW/Victorian border as they try and stop the COVID crisis from spreading.
The local police have joined the ranks of the border operation in a move that is set to continue for at least another six weeks with Victoria in lockdown.
The deployment is on top of the local police load including responding to emergencies, cracking down on crime, and enforcing public health orders.
"The fact we've been able to manage that, keep crime down and keep people safe is really a testament to the hard work that everyone does," New England Superintendent Scott Tanner told the Express.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller is on a tour of the New England North West this week and told the Express it wasn't a case of falling down, because "we have to sustain it".
"Police are turning up, they want to be part of the COVID operation in terms of protecting the community," he said. "I think this is going to be a long haul for us, we've got a long way to go."
Superintendent Tanner said he was rotating his officers with a new contingent headed south every week, like Oxley.
"Every week we're sending police from New England down to the border of Victoria and they're doing a cracking job," he said, adding the entire NSW Police deployment was a huge operation.
"We're deploying 450 staff a week down there to maintain that sort of presence down there, on top of that you'be got hundreds in hotels [for quarantine operations] in Sydney.
"Then you've got the police back in the districts in the commands that are still doing the checks on the people that are returned travellers or close contacts."
For police, every day involves checking on those who are meant to be in self-isolation; returned travellers; as well as license checks on venues, restaurants, cafes and other businesses subject to COVID-safe regulations.
Commissioner Fuller said no one is on leave, courts are closed and sick leave is the lowest it has been for 20 years in policing.
"I like to think the activity we've done has been helping keep that down in terms of health," Commissioner Fuller said.
"We owe it to the community to keep that sort of activity up as long as we can."
He said there had not been a marked increase in crime locally, or across the state.
New England cops free of virus
"There's no rule book for COVID-19, there's no rule book for locking people down in their homes," he said.
"We haven't seen a huge increase in domestic and family violence that we thought we might see."
There are 209 officers across New England, coupled with 20 unsworn staff and 30 highway patrol officers - all of which have remained free of coronavirus through the pandemic.
"So you add up the numbers and we've got quite a footprint here and we've been able to keep them safe," Superintendent Tanner said.
"We're still interacting with the public, we're still locking up crooks, and maintaining their health.
"We're nowhere near out of this, you only have to look at Victoria who just bought in their stage four restrictions; we're only a couple of people away getting coronavirus here."
Superintendent Tanner said while fines have been issued to locals and businesses, it was a last resort for those breaking the rules.
"The last thing we want to do is put more hurt onto businesses and people who are already doing it tough," he said.