Witnessing tragedy and trauma can take a heavy toll on even the most experienced emergency services personnel, however local police officers are expected to benefit from extra support following the induction of Rev Wayne Sheean as the Command’s chaplain.
Rev Sheean was appointed to the position at a formal presentation attended by NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Barrie on Saturday.
The role will see him provide counselling and moral support to officers, particularly after they are exposed to critical or traumatic events.
Rev Sheean said it was a ‘‘privilege’’ to be given the opportunity to work with the local law enforcement community.
‘‘Every day our police officers put their uniform on, their lives are on the line,’’ he said.
‘‘This role is to support those police officers, their families and our retired officers, and to be there for them in times of need.
‘‘Especially in small communities, police officers can know the people if there’s a major or critical accident, and it can hit home quite hard.’’
Deniliquin Police Command Superintendent Paul Condon said Rev Sheean’s induction serves as a ‘‘boost’’ to the Command and local community.
‘‘Locally, he adds to our current police welfare system where he can provide ongoing support to officers, not only at major incidents but in the day-to-day duties which can be quite difficult to do as a police officer,’’ he said.
‘‘Reverend Sheean has already started to drop into police stations and ask staff if they are okay, and he has also held his first Police Remembrance Day service and attended the Deni Ute Muster in his role.
‘‘I am extremely happy to have him on board within the Deniliquin Local Area Command.’’
Rev Sheean said the impact of traumatising incidents can have a deteriorating effect whether those involved are seasoned officers or new to the force.
‘‘As a chaplain I’m not necessarily there to talk about God and faith, it’s just about providing a space to talk and having someone there to listen,’’ he said.
‘‘They do that very well amongst each other, but other times it is important to talk to someone who is outside that environment.
‘‘The work our police officers do isn’t always appreciated and it can be a thankless task, but I believe most people are very thankful for their work.’’
Rev Sheean will wear the iconic blue police uniform when performing the role.