News Police

Officers recognised for bravery

ALMOST 20 years after they arrested an armed man in Greenacre, five police officers have been recognised for their brave actions.

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, awarded bravery decorations to 101 Australians who, without thought of personal risk, displayed courage and bravery to protect or defend others.

Sergeant Duncan Robert Abernethy, Senior Constable Stephen Wayne Dodd, Chief Inspector Robert Andrew Duncan, Sergeant Mark Haddon Johnston, and retired Chief Inspector Sandy Nadazdy, received a Group Bravery Citation after they tackled and physically restrained a man at great risk to their personal safety.

At 3am on February 19, 2001, three police officers attended a home unit in Greenacre in relation to a situation involving a man who was behaving in an aggressive manner and making nuisance 000 emergency calls.

On arrival, the officers observed the offender outside the house armed with a pair of scissors and a long screwdriver. After verbally threatening and then attempting to slash and stab the officers, the offender threw his weapons towards them and moved inside the house.

Soon after, the offender reappeared brandishing a garden tool and continued his threatening behaviour. Officers placed themselves between the offender and paramedics as he advanced towards them. The offender ignored requests from the officers and re-entered the house.

At this point, another officer arrived and together, with two officers already on scene, they moved to the front door of the premises. They heard the offender loading a gun so moved to find cover.

The offender reappeared, continued to yell verbal threats and continued to load the pistol which he was holding. After a short time, the offender returned inside the premises. 

Two other officers then arrived on scene. The offender came outside and continued to threaten and taunt the officers. Believing the offender was still armed, three of the officers ran from their place of safety towards the offender and tackled him to the ground.

Two other officers quickly went to the assistance of their colleagues to disarm and restrain the offender.