A POLICE officer who was shot in the face by an armed robber during a hold up at a Gold Coast pub four years ago has been awarded top honours for his exceptional bravery.
Senior Sergeant Gary Hamrey was shot in the cheek at point blank rage after he and Senior Constable Stephen Cook chased and cornered two gunmen who just minutes earlier had held-up the Arundel Tavern.
Both officers were awarded Queensland’s top Police Valour Award for their exceptional bravery at a ceremony held in Upper Coomera on Wednesday.
Six other officers and courageous tavern employee Stacey Denman were also recognised for their bravery shown on the night of the 2013 robbery.
Ms Denman was awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding assistance throughout the terrifying ordeal.
She had only worked at the pub for nine days and used the iPhone emergency function to alert police.
Fellow officers Sgt. Gregory St Clair, Snr. Cons. Daniel Lukic, and Cons. Lachlan Knowles received a Bravery Medal.
Senior Sergeant Marc Kimber, Det. Snr. Sgt. Ian Armbruster, and Det. Snr. Cons. Julie Castle were all awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate for Notable Action.
Meanwhile, a further 13 officers and a police dog were awarded the Commissioner’s Certificate (Operational) for the way in which they handled the Broadbeach bikie brawl in the same year.
Commissioner Ian Stewart said all award recipients were of the highest calibre.
“Everyone presented with an award today shows the professionalism that is a hallmark of the QPS. Each of them should be justifiably proud of their service and the contribution they have made,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“It’s important we also acknowledge family and friends who provide our members with the essential support needed to perform our roles every day, who stand alongside all of us during both the challenging and the rewarding times.”
An extra six officers were issued the Queensland Police Service Medal for 10 years of diligent and ethical service, and special Clasps were presented to a dozen more for each additional five years of service.
Other awards to note included the Assistant Commissioner’s Certificate, awarded to Sergeant Danny Rahe and Constable Michael Mamaril for exceeding expectations in the execution of duty in an operational field.
The District Officer’s Certificate was awarded to Senior Constable Jeffrey Brier-Mills, Senior Constable Daniel Horne and Senior Constable Bev Ward for outstanding contributions to the delivery of policing services.
Eleven other officers and one client service officer were presented with the National Police Service Medal, while a further seven were awarded the National Medal.
Also awarded for their work in the force were Police Dogs Biff, Blitz, Ox, Robbie and Wizard and their handlers.
They each received the Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association Canine Service Medal.
Minister for Police Mark Ryan said the recipients have a proven range of skills and attributes that enable Queenslanders to place their faith and confidence in their police service.
“Police perform a vital role in the maintenance of law and order, and public safety; and on behalf of the communities and the Palaszczuk Government, I am delighted to see officers being awarded,” Minister Ryan said.
“Their skills highlight courage, aptitude, boundless dedication and commitment, not only to their profession, but also to Queensland communities.
“They are a credit to the Queensland Police Service, to the community in which they serve, and to their family and friends.”