The Bravery Award was launched by the association in 2010 to signify peer recognition for the most outstanding acts of bravery by members of Police, on or off duty. As only the most exceptional acts of bravery are deemed eligible, the award is presented only when acts that fit the standard have occurred.
Last year, Constable Sophie Allison and Detective Constable Jeremy Toschi received awards for helping to prevent a knife-wielding attacker from killing and inflicting further serious injury during a rampage in May 2021 at Countdown in central Dunedin.
The first officer to be honoured in 2010 was Inspector Mike O’Leary, who rescued two children from a burning van after a crash near Taupō.
In 2011, Constable Mike Wardle and former constable Marty Stiles were honoured for bravery under fire, saving the life of Senior Constable Bruce Lamb, who was shot during an incident in Christchurch in which police dog Gage was killed. The same year, a third confidential award was made privately to an officer involved in a separate incident.
Two Napier officers, Senior Constable Bryan Farquharson and Constable Paul Bailey, were honoured in 2013 for saving a teenager from the sea at Napier’s Marine Parade.
In 2014, Tauranga’s Constable Deane O’Connor received the award for his courageous leap off a bridge into Tauranga Harbour to rescue a passenger from a crashed van.
The following year, the recipients were Constable Ben Turner, of Hamilton, who risked his life to confront a wanted, armed man threatening a member of the public, and Senior Constable Adrian Oldham, of Pāpāmoa, who entered a burning house to rescue the elderly occupant.
In 2016, the award was presented privately because of the sensitive nature of the circumstances surrounding the brave actions of the member concerned.
Two officers were recognised in 2017. Former senior constable Ross Andrew made a daring cliff descent to help rescue the injured driver of a truck that had crashed in the Manawatū Gorge and landed in the river. In Northland, Constable Darren Critchley braved huge seas at Ninety Mile Beach to bring two swimmers to shore.
Senior Constable Scott Quate, from Napier, was the 2018 recipient after he descended a steep bank into the Waikato River to rescue a man and woman whose vehicle had crashed into the water.
In 2019, Senior Constable Jim Manning and Senior Constable Scott Carmody, both of Canterbury, received bravery awards for arresting the gunman who carried out the March 15 Christchurch mosque attacks.
No award was presented in 2020.
Both constabulary and non-constabulary members are eligible for nomination for acts of bravery in the year from July 2022 to June 2023. Nomination forms and criteria can be downloaded from the association’s website, policeassn.org.nz. You must be logged in to access the forms.