Mid West police earn accolades

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Former superintendent Mike Bell with Northampton OIC Matt Donkin.
Camera IconFormer superintendent Mike Bell with Northampton OIC Matt Donkin. Credit: Picture: Tamra Carr, Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian

The officer-in-charge of Northampton Police Station has been commended for his role in the criminal investigation of an asylum seeker disaster.

On behalf of Australian Federal Police last week, former Mid West-Gascoyne superintendent Mike Bell handed Sergeant Matthew Donkin a certificate and medal for his role in Operation Crowea.

The operation was in response to a people-smuggling boat that capsized about 110 nautical miles off Christmas Island in 2012, killing about 100 people.

Crowea included search, rescue, recovery, victim identification and a criminal and coronial investigation into people smuggling, which Sgt Donkin assisted with.

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The investigation led to the arrest of a captain and crew member, who were convicted and sentenced to nine and six years jail respectively.

Sgt Donkin was also recognised for his stints in major crime, Perth traffic and cold case investigations.

He was one of several officers to earn accolades for exceptional policing and long-term service to the WA Police Force.

Geraldton Police Station’s Senior Constable Jeffery Buscumb received the WA Police Star Medal, awarded to officers who had been killed or seriously injured while serving.

Sen. Const. Buscumb was hurt in 2005 when he attempted to stop a punch-up at a race course and was thrown to the ground and attacked, resulting in a life-long injury to his shoulder.

The former superintendent said the senior constable was no longer an operational officer but did a great job working in the office.

The Geraldton Police Station’s award ceremony also doubled as a meet-and-greet for incoming Mid West-Gascoyne Superintendent Roger Beer, who begins the role on December 27.

Former superintendent Mike Bell left Mid West-Gascoyne Police last week.

Geraldton Police Station award recipients:

Senior Constable Jeffery Buscumb - WA Police Star Medal.

First Class Constable Roland Pace - WA Police Force 10 Year Service Medal.

Acting Sergeant Wade Barndon - WA Police Force 10 Year Service Medal.

Sergeant Shane Hugo - National Police Service Medal, National Medal and WA Police Force 15 Year Ribbon Bar.

Geraldton Detectives:

Detective Sergeant Paul Fallon - 25 Year Service Ribbon Bar, 25 Year Clasp for the National Medal.

Detective Senior Constable Gregory Yendle - WA Police Force 10 Year Service Medal.

Mid West - Gascoyne District Forensic Investigation Officer:

Senior Constable Alan Ball - WA Police Force 10 Year Service Medal.

Mid West - Gascoyne Traffic:

Senior Constable Lorne Buchan - WA Police Force 10 Year Service Medal.

Northampton Police Station: Sergeant Matthew Donkin - AFP Operations Medal for Operation Crowea.

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