Armidale Police station welcomed a new officer in charge at the start of the year, and to say he is familiar with the role of a police officer would be an understatement.
Following his promotion from sergeant to inspector last December, Darren Williams moved to Armidale from Yamba after 13 years policing the Coffs Harbour/Clarence district.
Before that, he lived in Inverell, Wooli and Coffs Harbour. He and his wife have four adult children, three of whom are also NSW police officers, and the family has moved around to meet the demands of Insp William's career path.
However, the nomadic life of a country cop is par for the course for Inspector Williams because although born in Fairfield in Sydney, he was raised in towns throughout regional New South Wales.
"We lived in Casino, Wellington, Collarenebri, and Moama," Insp Williams said.
"My father was an NSW Police Officer with 33 years' service, so we travelled around the state as he progressed through his career.
"I have four brothers and a sister, three of my brothers were NSW Police Officers, and my sister is a Queensland Police Officer.
"So, I guess you could say policing is in my blood."
Inspector Williams said he is looking forward to his new role, which he says is similar to his previous jobs - only bigger.
"I'll be working with the community to address local crime issues and to keep Armidale and the surrounding areas safe," he said.
"Which is all basically the same sort of duties as a team leader, but with a lot more responsibility and more staff."
And he said the crime in the Armidale region is also similar to that on the coast, but there is less of it.
"I've seen very similar crime trends in the Coffs Harbour/Clarence region in the last 30 years, but the volume of crime on the coast is higher due to the size of the population and the tourist destination that it is," Insp Williams said.
While police experience the worst of humanity during much of their job, they also get to see the best in society, according to Inspector Williams.
"I get to work with a lot of volunteers in the emergency services, and I am a big believer in interagency engagement and socialising," he said.
"Most of those people are highly trained and are in it because they just want to help. I know when I attend an emergency that each of those groups knows what they are doing and can be relied on to play their part without supervision."
With 34 years of service in the NSW Police Force behind him, Inspector Williams has worked in the highway patrol and on general duties, and there is always the same motivation that gets him up each day.
"I have been a frontline uniformed police officer all my career," he said.
"The best thing about my job is making a difference to the victims of crime, assisting them in trying to get through the badness that has happened to them and holding people to account for the crimes they commit."
Inspector Williams said the most challenging thing is trying to keep crime down in the community, and he intends to make a difference while he is in the Armidale officer in charge role.
"I'd like to think that I have made a positive difference in people's lives, be it through catching an offender who has wronged them or supporting them through the tough times," he said.
"I am looking forward to working with our community, local and state government representatives to bring positive change to the area."
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