Mundaring Police Officer-in-Charge Sergeant Jeff Taylor was awarded the Australian Police Medal by WA Governor Kerry Sanderson last Friday during an Investiture ceremony at Government House.
Sergeant Taylor started his career in 1994 after moving to Perth from Northam, and graduated as a police recruit in 1996, working right across the metropolitan area.
He was then posted to Nannup, where he was made a Sergeant and OIC before moving to Waroona and then to Mundaring.
After 23-years in the job, there are two incidents that stick with him, incidents that were specifically referenced in this award – the Waroona fires, and siege situation in Bunbury.
Sgt Taylor remembers them both vividly.
“It’s funny, you win an award but the Waroona fires were the worst 17 days of my career,” he said.
“It was a lot of hours, a lot of stress and a lot of emotion, you know, the community are looking at you for direction and you need to provide it in that situation.
“A individual might be awarded a medal but I couldn’t do it without the team around me.
“I’ve worked with a lot of good people in my career that have got me to this position. Without those people I’m nothing.”
He said he was shocked when he found out he had won the award and that at times, emotion got the better of him.
“I didn’t know what to expect and I guess it was more than I expected.
“You get a service medal and it’s a shake of the hand and that’s it, but this was a lot more formal and you see that and understand how important it is.
“I mean I even started getting emotional a couple of days after I found out, just wondering if I deserved it.”
With his wife and two children, as well as his parents, watching him accept the award from Ms Sanderson, he said he was extremely proud, especially given the support of his family.
“Without my family, you know I work long hours and they always stand by me,” he said
“There were a few tears from the parents and I’m just really grateful they’ve always been there.”
By Liam Ducey