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Hunter officers awarded prestigious Australian Police Medals

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Three officers with links to the Hunter have been awarded the prestigious Australian Police Medal (APM) as part of the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours.

Retired Detective Sergeant Matthew David Faber, formerly attached to the Newcastle City Police District, Lake Macquarie Police District’s Detective Sergeant Kristi Lee Faber, who received a Commissioner’s Commendation earlier this year, and Superintendent Scott Richard Tanner (Richmond Police District), who kicked off his career in the region, were among the latest recipients.

The trio secured the distinguished honour alongside Chief Inspector Amanda Lee Calder (Public Transport & Public Safety Command Major Event Group), Superintendent Kirsty Maree Heyward (Public Affairs Branch), Detective Sergeant Michael Barry Smith (Richmond Police District), Senior Sergeant Catherine Ann Urquhart (State Intelligence), Detective Superintendent David Anthony Waddell (Police Property Group) and Detective Chief Inspector Cameron James Whiteside (Rural Crime Prevention Team).

Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley thanked everyone for their dedication and hard work.

“These police officers are being recognised for their exceptional work… and they could not be more deserving of this outstanding achievement,” the Swansea MP said.

“They have gone above and beyond for the people of NSW.

“I want to personally thank them for their service.”

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb APM also congratulated those officers who had been bestowed the APM.

“Through this award, they have been recognised for their dedication to not only the policing profession but for their service to the people of NSW,” she said.

“Every one of these police have each given decades of selfless service.

“Receiving this award will go down as one of the highlights of their career.”

Retired Detective Sergeant Matthew David Faber

Retired Detective Sergeant Matthew Faber joined the NSW Police Force on 25 January 1991 and was stationed at Cabramatta Police Station then Wetherill Park Police Station in general duties.

In October 1996, he started full-time in criminal investigation duties at Wetherill Park Police Station, later to become the Green Valley Local Area Command and was designated as a detective in 1999.

In April 2000, he transferred to the Newcastle Detectives Unit and was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 2004.

From 2001, he led many notable strike forces (SF) involving serious and violent crimes such as murder, sexual assault, abduction and armed robberies, including SF Testa, SF Inspection, SF Finni, Harrick, SF Giffen and SF Backhouse, which investigated the execution style murder of woman in her Stockton home.

The offenders of each crime were charged as a result of each offence.

In 2011, Detective Sergeant Faber led SF Kerwin, a five-month investigation targeting multiple groups, resulting in the charging of 23 offenders for armed robberies, attempted murder, firearm offences, drug offences and other strictly indictable offences.

In 2013 while leading SF Correa, he investigated the murder of two elderly residents and attempted murder of a third resident in a nursing home.

The subsequent 14-month investigation involved taking more than 750 statements and a variety of covert and overt investigative strategies being employed to illuminate every person and isolate the killer.

The offender was convicted at trial and sentenced to 40 years jail.

Detective Sergeant Faber boasts over 33 years’ experience working field operations in the busiest commands in the state.

Throughout that time, he undertook numerous investigations in all categories of major crime and has been awarded the annual Detectives Board Award – Best Investigation twice – in 2013-14 and 2016-17.

Detective Sergeant Kristi Lee Faber

Detective Sergeant Kristi Faber began her career as an NSW police officer on 23 October 1992 stationed at Burwood Police Station conducting general duties.

In 1993, she attained the rank of constable and in 1994 transferred to the detective’s office at Campsie Police Station.

Following this she took up a position at Bankstown Detectives office in 1997.

She was designated as a detective in 1999 and then transferred to Maitland.

In 2000 she moved to the Lake Macquarie detective’s office where she has remained for the past 24 years.

In 2006, she was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant within the Lake Macquarie Detectives Unit and has relieved as the Lake Macquarie crime manager periodically since 2015.

In her role as the team leader at the Lake Macquarie Criminal Investigations Unit, Detective Sergeant Faber has pursued prosecuting child sex offenders with results that have achieved national and international attention.

She has displayed excellent customer service as part of her varied duties in the Hunter region, including the investigation of many cases relating to child sexual assault offences.

In 2008, Detective Sergeant Faber established Strike Force Georgiana to investigate child sexual assaults committed in Newcastle.

This strike force would continue for 12 years, becoming one of the longest-running in the NSW Police Force’s history and result in prosecutions, which made headlines internationally and facilitated legislative change in NSW.

Detective Sergeant Faber was also instrumental in the investigation of crimes committed by a former member of parliament… and their eventual conviction and custodial sentence.

The strike force, which was passionately led by Detective Sergeant Faber, laid more than 600 charges against 19 offenders and obtained over 800 witness statements.

Superintendent Scott Richard Tanner

Superintendent Scott Tanner joined the NSW Police Force on 24 January 1993 and performed general duties at Newcastle, Wallsend, Grafton, Nymboida, Manilla, Gunnedah, Coonabarabran, Dubbo, Armidale and Lismore police stations.

He has spent much of his career in regional NSW in general duties, including lock up keeper roles.

In 2003, he was promoted to sergeant at Gunnedah Police Station before further promotion in 2010 to duty officer at Coonabarabran Police Station.

He was promoted to Superintendent in 2018 and became the commander at New England Police District before transferring to his current position in 2020 as the commander of Richmond Police District.

As a proud “country cop”, Superintendent Tanner has always devoted himself to being a strong part of the fabric of the country towns he has worked and lived in.

He’s spent several years in tactical policing as an operational member of the then State Protection Support Unit as well as the Operational Support Group.

In 2022, one of the most significant flooding events in Australian history took place at Lismore where Superintendent Tanner was the commander.

This unprecedented event resulted in over 2,500 people being rescued and six people tragically losing their lives in a 24-hour period.

He was the local emergency operations controller and managed this large-scale event during the emergency and over the following weeks, which saw many people isolated and unaccounted for.

His leadership during this time, was of the highest standard.

Superintendent Tanner went on to assist Deputy Commissioner Lanyon APM.

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