Chief Inspector David Cooper, Central West Police District: This year has certainly been one of challenges – as we all battled our way through a devastating drought and then the catastrophic bushfires – we thought things were finally starting to look up. Then COVID-19 hit and life has not been the same since. What these things have really shown is that our communities are adaptive, strong and resilient. What was considered “normal” in our day-to-day lives may never be the same again, but we have all managed to adapt and change the way we do things.
Internationally the “Black Lives Matter” movement has come to the fore and has brought with it many conversations. The actions of some police from overseas, as portrayed in the media, appear abhorrent. What I can say is that the police in Parkes support our community because they are part of the community. Our police and community relations are strong and have been built over many years. Police rely on the community for their support just as much as the community relies on police to maintain law and order. I look forward to continue working with the community as we move forward and face the challenges together.