Police Officers decorate New Year Honours List

Staff Reporter

Three New Zealand Police officers are among recipients of the New Year Royal Honours List announced on December 31, 2014.

Superintendent Dave Trappitt (Police National Headquarters) and Inspector Anna Jackson (Bay of Plenty Police District) were awarded ‘Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit’ (ONZM), while Sergeant Bill Nicholson (Central Police District), becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

These are the fifth and sixth highest in the New Zealand Honours System.

Commissioner Mike Bush congratulated the trio and others included in the Honours List (see separate stories on Page One and in this Section) for their outstanding contribution to communities throughout New Zealand.

Citations for the three police officers highlight some of their achievements.

Good Strategist

Superintendent Dave Trappitt is Acting Assistant Commissioner (Prevention), based in Wellington. An officer of the New Zealand Police since 1975, he has extensive experience in the development and management of national strategic projects and operations.

Superintendent Trappitt initiated modern departmental forecast reporting in 1997, years ahead of many other agencies.  His leadership in planning and coordination has been the key to the successful development and training of the Maori Wardens Project, the first Police Statement of Intent, monitoring frameworks around the Police Strategic Plan and governance arrangements for evaluating police projects.

He was New Zealand’s Police liaison Officer in Canberra, where he enhanced coordination with the Australian Federal Police.

Superintendent Trappitt was second in charge of the Police operational response to the 2014 visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and is the national manager of the Communications Service Centre.

Woman of ‘Firsts’

Inspector Anna Jackson, who is currently Acting National Manager, Police Professional Conduct, joined the New Zealand Police in January 1984 and was the first woman officer to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant, Senior Sergeant and Inspector in Rotorua.

She is former head of Rotorua’s Road Policing Unit, has represented the Police on community safety committees, and has been involved with equal opportunities issues and professional standards since 2005.

Inspector Jackson is a long-term member of the Bay of Plenty District Equity and Diversity Committee, represents her district on women’s issues and has been in charge of the District’s Professional Conduct team since 2009.

SAR Skills

Sergeant Bill Nicholson began his career with the New Zealand Police in 1978 and was with the Palmerston North Armed Offenders Squad for more than five years from 1980.  He also worked in Marton and then Taupo where he first became involved with Search and Rescue (SAR).

His SAR skills took him to Palmerston North where he is now the Central Police District Search and Rescue Coordinator.  His achievements include securing funding for better communication equipment for remote locations across the District, training volunteer SAR groups, improving relationships with partner agencies and contributing to standard operating procedures for helicopter service.

Among SAR operations of Sergeant Nicholson were Mangatepopo Gorge, Tongariro National Park (2008) tragedy in which six students drowned in river floods, the Pike River Mining disaster (2010) and the Disaster Victim Identification team following the Christchurch Earthquake (2011).

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