Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA has taken her hat off to Northam Police Detective Sergeant Laura Russ, who was presented an Australian Police Medal (APM) by the WA Governor in Perth today.
Det Sgt Russ, who was raised on Gibb River Station in the Kimberley, is believed to be the first Aboriginal female to receive recognition for distinguished service to the police force in Western Australia.
Ms Davies said Det Sgt Russ was one of only 20 female WAPOL officers to have received an APM since it was introduced in 1986.
“Det Sgt Russ has had a tremendous frontline career with WA Police, joining the force in 1991 and steadily working her way up to the admirable position of Detective Sergeant,” she said.
“The fact she has spent the majority of her career in regional WA communities including Katanning, Albany, Meekatharra, Carnarvon, the Burringurrah community and now Northam is a major credit to her.
“Her dedication to the job and drive to make law and order a priority in the regions means the communities she serves can be confident frontline crime fighting is in good hands.”
Det Sgt Russ was presented her APM by Governor Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson in front of friends, family and colleagues at the Government House Ballroom.
She joins other top WA female cops on the list of APM recipients including Assistant Commissioner Michelle Fyfe and former Great Southern District Superintendent Catherine Bullen.
Det Sgt Russ resides in the Shire of Goomalling with her husband and two children.
Ms Davies also took the opportunity while in Northam last week to meet new Wheatbelt Police District Inspector Erica Silwood, who was recently promoted from officer-in-charge of Merredin Police.
“It’s always good to see diversity in the workforce and especially pleasing to see women in roles of management with WA Police,” Ms Davies said.