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Police Officer of the Year announced at the Royal Adelaide Show

06 Sep 2019 12:08pm

Chief Inspector Matt Nairn was today announced as the Police Officer of the Year – an annual award presented by the Rotary Club of Unley.

The announcement was made at the Royal Adelaide Show this morning after the Chief Inspector, the operations manager for the SA Police Eastern District, was nominated by a range of organisations that he works with in the community.

The Award was announced and presented by the Rotary Club of Unley’s President Elect Sorel Coward and District Governor Tim Klar.

Chief Inspector Nairn was nominated for the award by the City of Adelaide, the Don Dunstan Foundation, Encounter Youth and the Hutt St Centre.

His work with the homeless and young people in the city drew accolades from each group, noting his openness, willingness to build strong relationships and collaborative approach.

“Matt is a professional with high levels of integrity and commitment to his role,” the Adelaide City nomination read. “He understands that building and maintaining community safety requires a whole of community approach with residents, visitors, businesses and all levels of government work together to support a safe and inclusive environment for all.

“Matt works hard to bring these stakeholders together while not shying away from the difficult conversations.”

The married father of one, joined the South Australia Police in 1984 – with his association with the city beginning in those early days as a patrol officer in the Central Business District and beats in Hindley St.

Between 1997 and 2004 he was with the Dog Operations Unit, partnered with Tyson, and after further work in Adelaide and Norwood was promoted to the rank of Inspector in 2008.

Made a Chief Inspector in 2016, he spent some time working in South Coast Local Service Area before returning to the city.

“With great support from current District management, including Superintendent Craig Wall I have identified the need for meaningful engagement at all levels within community, to better understand the 24-hour cycle of life in the Adelaide CBD and its occupants, traders and residents including the homeless.”

He also works with Adelaide Oval management and with the other organisers of major and special events in the city.

“I love of this type of work, developing meaningful engagement with event organisers, venue managers and security to provide the safest, most efficient policing responses in support of a vibrant Adelaide CBD,” he said.

The club has presented the award annual since 1978 in recognition of outstanding work by a committed police officer who is believed to have displayed high standards of professionalism; significant acts of courtesy, kindness, understanding or courage; or has handled a complex and difficult situation with humanity.

COP congratulates the Police Officer of the Year

Photograph: The Commissioner of Police, Grant Stevens congratulates Chief Inspector Matt Nairn on his award today.