Remote Policing Command Farewells the Longest Serving CEPOs

02 March 2016
Senior Constables Jennifer Hamilton (Central Desert Communities - Southern Command) and Marcus Tilbrook (Carpentaria Communities - Northern Command) recently received recognition for their service and tremendous efforts as Community Engagement Police Officers (CEPOs).
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Both were original CEPOs who started with the first intake in 2011.  Jen and Marcus finished as CEPOs in January and February (respectively) this year, having served 4 ½ years in their roles.

Both CEPOs had in excess of seven remote and very remote communities to service in their regions during that time and unlike most other remote police, who are either stationed permanently in communities or for six-week rotational stints, weren’t able to go home to their families at night when they deployed.  Their patrols most often took them between visiting officers’ quarters (VOQ’s), dongas and quite often, their swag on a floor or patch of scrub.  They returned to their families only for their admin day and days off.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Jamie Chalker presented Jen with a plaque for her outstanding service while at Kintore Police Station last week and Marcus was presented with his plaque at the Remote Policing Command Office in Darwin.

”After a very rewarding time as a CEPO, Jenny has chosen to return to General Duties in Alice Springs,” fellow Southern Command CEPO, Shane Blanchard said.

“A typical week saw her travel between three or four communities depending where she was needed most.  Meeting with Traditional Owners and Elders and other strong men and women who were determined to make their community safer.  She was also involved in actively supporting programs like ‘Safe4Kids’ and the ‘NO MORE’ Domestic Violence campaign.”  

“Her cultural knowledge and understanding of the people living in central desert communities is second to none and has enabled her to very successfully negotiate peaceful resolutions to some very complex, long standing and highly emotive issues that have flared up in many places.”

“This was never more evident than her patient and determined efforts during the Yuendumu unrest in 2012 and other communities since.”

 “She takes with her an immense amount of local knowledge, contacts and experience and understanding of local culture. She has left very big boots to fill”.

 “On behalf of the Southern and Northern CEPO team, we wish you all the best”.

 “You are a great colleague and a true friend. You will be missed by the team”.

Marcus was instrumental in preparing, delivering and refining the CEPO training and program development from the outset, signing on as a CEPO upon the completion of the initial course and going to Lajamanu.  Since that time, Marcus has also served as a CEPO in the Gulf region from Borroloola in the South to Groote Eylandt in the North.  His efforts during this time earned him the Commissioners Policing Excellence Medal.

“Jen and Marcus will be sorely missed from the team and they take with them a lot of hard won experience,” Senior Sergeant Steve Martin from Remote Policing Command said. 

“I’m pleased to say that both members took the time to pass on information and lessons learned to newer team members and helped with the growth of the CEPO program.”

 “Each has a unique skill set which will assist them and the organisation into the future.”

“They have given much to the organisation, to people in remote areas of the NT and to Remote Policing. I thank them for that service and their sacrifices.”

By Constable First Class Shane Blanchard