Brett Greentree often feels like he is hacking the system, being paid to do what he loves every singe day.
But it's that dedication to being one of NSW's top cops, as Assistant Commissioner and Western Region Commander, that has seen him granted a Meritorious Award.
"It's like a dream, isn't it, when they're paying you to come to work but you actually enjoy it," he laughed.
The award recognises his service to the community with the "highest standards of professional policing leadership".
His work on Aboriginal community issues is especially noted, as is his leadership of the policing responses to two of the largest Sydney protests in 2020.
His "calm and confident" liaison with the organisers balanced "the right to democratic freedom within the relevant COVID restrictions."
A "proud Inverell boy", he's never been one for standing too long in the same place.
Having loved his work in child protection and detecting "as a young bloke", he now finds himself "living vicariously" through those he takes pride in mentoring.
"I am really enjoying that civic leadership side of things now as a senior cop, to have persuasion in the organisation," he explained.
"You live vicariously through some of the big cops now, and I enjoy supporting them... because it's changed now - not that I'm a dinosaur by any stretch!"
He joined the NSW Police force in 1995, and built an outstanding reputation in rural and regional community policing and criminal investigation in Moree from 1997.
Designated as a Detective in 2002, he performed criminal investigation and child protection duties in Moree and Inverell, before his promotion to Sergeant and transfer to the Tingha Police Station in 2003.
Climbing through the ranks and travelling the state, he was promoted to Detective Inspector at Bourke, before becoming Superintendent serving as the Chief Of Staff to the Deputy Commissioner in Specialist Operations; Commander of the Lake Macquarie, Newcastle City and Brisbane Water Police districts; and from there coming to command the Western Region in 2021.
He received a commendation in 2010 for dedication and commitment to Aboriginal issues, and for his work as the NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Customer Service 2013-17, where he introduced the Community Awareness of Policing Program and implemented victim follow-up recording mechanisms.
This latest award commends his work with the Bourke community to introduce alcohol restrictions which as seen a significant decrease in assaults and improved health outcomes. He also led a project to raise the Aboriginal flag in regional police stations.
He said if this Meritorious Award could be dedicated to anyone, it was be his beautiful wife and three kids, having "dragged them all across the countryside" in the 26 years of his career.
"This is for them - and also for my mum, Julie."
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