FOLKS in the rakish blue - and plain clothes - will be recognised later this month at the inaugural Wagga Local Area Command (LAC) police officer of the year awards.
The awards, organised by the Rotary Club of Wagga Sunrise, allow the public to acknowledge outstanding acts of kindness, compassion, courage and devotion to duty by any male, female, uniform or plain clothes, office staff or volunteers, of the NSW police service in the Wagga LAC.
Wagga superintendent Bob Noble said the awards expanded across seven categories, from operations to victim support and customer service.
"They're about recognising excellence in policing, not just for sworn officers but also our administration staff and volunteers across a number of fields," Superintendent Noble said.
"Nominations can include one significant deed or ongoing service of good work over a period of time, or both."
Wagga Sunrise Rotarian Fred Loneragan approached the Wagga LAC to initiate the awards after Rotary had staged police awards elsewhere in NSW for about 12 years.
"It's a very longstanding project of Rotary," the former policeman of 34 years said.
"I would say there's no greater service utility than police.
"I think the two most recognisable symbols in the world would be the police band and Rotary logo."
A panel of three Rotarians and two senior police officers will determine award winners that will be announced at the gala dinner on August 30 at the Wagga RSL Club, open to the public.
"People can expect very few speeches, not a great deal of formality, laughs and entertainment," Mr Loneragan said of the cocktail evening.
"It'll be a great night of fellowship."
Fittingly, the band performing is called Bail Refused.
NSW deputy police commissioner Nick Kaldas will present the awards in Wagga, with the overall winner advancing on to Sydney for the NSW police awards of the year in November.
Tickets to the presentation dinner are $65 and available from Don Tuckwell Audio and 2WG/StarFM.
Nominations for the awards close this Friday and forms can be downloaded from the website.
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