Local police officers and their friends and family gathered together on Tuesday morning for the annual Monaro Local Area Command medals and awards ceremony, recognising excellence in policing and community service.
NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher attended the ceremony, and thanked Queanbeyan Police for their tireless work in the Queanbeyan community. As a former police officer, Mr Gallacher said he knew only too well what a thankless task policing could be.
"You did not join this organisation for medals; you did not join this organisation for pats on the back, because they're very rare indeed, and they're usually swiftly followed by a kick," he said.
"While you're pleasing some, you'll also find many others who are not so happy with the decisions that you make. That's the nature of policing."
He also noted the reluctance of hard-working police officers to take time out and enjoy some praise for their efforts.
"I know that there are people here who are probably reluctant to do this today. But take stock for one moment and look at the crowd.
"Look at the family and friends and kids and your peers who've taken the opportunity to come, because they want to show their respect to you for the job that you have done.
"See the pride on their faces and realise how very important today actually is," he said.
A range of awards and medals were given out on the day, including the national medal for 15 years' service, the NSW police medal for 10 years' service, the NSW police medallion for unsworn members of the police force reaching 10 years' service, and commanders' commendations and certificates.
Leading Senior Constable Richard Pearce was one of many local officers decorated on the day. He received the national medal and two commander's certificates of merit for his police work, and was singled out for one tense situation where he was able to save the life of a mentally ill person threatening self-harm.
Senior Constable Pearce told the Queanbeyan Age that he still got a kick out of policing after more than 15 years in the job.
"I wake up happy to go to work. I like the area here, and I like the people, and I get a lot of satisfaction out what I do."
Detective Senior Constable Ian Franca echoed his colleague's enthusiasm. He said he was honoured to receive the NSW police medal for 10 years' service.
"Policing is something I've wanted to do all my life, and something I feel very honoured about today.
"It's not every day that you get your family members out to see you receive an award. But I love what I do, I love serving the community, and this is a job I envisage doing for many years to come," he said.
Senior Constable Franca said the day was made extra special by his wife and kids being there to share it with him.
"My kids are my number one fans, and they're already looking [to follow] in my footsteps. They wear the hat all the time and they love it," he said.