Not everyone is lucky enough to go to work each day and make a real difference to the lives of people in their community.
That’s the reality for Senior Constable David Blom who has been named Macarthur’s top cop.
The Campbelltown City Police Area Command officer was recognised for his work at the Rotary Police Officer of the Year Awards on Wednesday, August 8 at Wests Leagues Club, Leumeah.
The crime prevention and community safety officer said he was “humbled” to be named Macarthur’s Police Officer of the Year.
“Winning the award was unexpected,” he said. “I didn’t think I deserved that level of recognition.
“My role means I am often the face of the command in the community and I try to build relationships and break down barriers.
“One time a young girl trusted me enough to tell me about being seriously assaulted.
“She told me what happened because she saw me at the youth centre she attends and she wanted to make sure that it didn’t happen to anyone else.
“She trusted me and would only speak with me.
“I felt that the work I had put in over a long period had paid off and it made me feel proud about what I do.”
Campbelltown acting commander Michael Moroney said he had worked with the senior constable often in the former Macquarie Field Local Area Command.
“I congratulate David on a well deserved award,” he said.
“Police officers don’t go out of their way to get recognition but it is appreciated when they do get an acknowledgement.
“Of all the eligible police officers who do great work, Senior Constable Blom is a stand out.
“The community events he organises are phenomenal.
“It is clear he has a great passion for community policing.”
Senior Constable Blom said he started his policing career after his brother encouraged him to give the job a chance.
“I was in the military before and when I came back home with my family I wanted to serve my local community,” he said.
“I see myself as a people person. I love engaging with the community.
“I will talk to any person in the community the same way – whether that person is the worst criminal or the best person in the world.
“I always talk to people with courtesy and respect and I hope they reciprocate it.”
Senior Constable Blom said one of the challenges in his job was dealing with a lack of understanding from locals about why police do what they do.
“If a person or their family member had a bad experience with police then they paint all police officers with the same brush,” he said.
“There is a stereotype that all police are ‘grubs’ or police officers will ‘take my family member away from me’.
“It is tough trying to change the stereotypes across generations.
“That’s why I am out there trying to change attitudes and break down barriers.”
The senior constable said he wanted to continue his community liaison work for the next five years and then saw himself working on projects within the police force or other agencies to “make the police force a better place”.
The police officer thanked his wife, mother and work colleagues for their ongoing support during his career.
“My mother is the reason why I am here today and the man that I am, and my wife guides me and helps me keep a level head,” Senior Constable Blom said.
“I am humbled by the award and grateful for the recognition. I will cherish it always.”
Camden, Campbelltown, Ingleburn, Macarthur Sunrise, Narellan and Wollondilly North Rotary clubs hold the annual awards.
Senior Constable Blom also took home the award for crime prevention.
Constable Michael Humphreys, also from the former Macquarie Fields LAC, won the probationary constable category.
Detective Senior Constable Jason Darley topped the detectives category, while Sergeant Dale Abbott was judged the best in the general duties category. Both are from Camden LAC.
Karen Fox of Campbelltown LAC was the winner of the unsworn officer category.
There were more than 240 people in attendance. Julieanne Horsman was the master of ceremonies.