I write to you today around the events that have unfolded over the last week.

It’s been a difficult few weeks for our profession. Across the state our members are called daily to thousands of incidents where decisions are made, and actions taken in split seconds and then dissected. 

This week has seen the Police Association of NSW lobbying and advocating with politicians in both houses of Parliament to ensure that operational policing issues and oversight do not become a political point scoring exercise. My team and I have had varying success in this space, but rest assured we will not stop advocating for your rights at the highest levels of government in relation to operational matters and in relation to pay and conditions.

As you are all aware, a Police Critical Incident Investigation commenced on Wednesday the 17th of May in Cooma in the Southern Region. 

PANSW Organisers were on the ground within hours supporting all members involved. This support has continued throughout the process via our Field, Welfare and Legal divisions involved in providing legal assistance and advice along with support to all members involved in the investigation.

The PANSW will always respond on the ground in support of members in the Critical Investigation space. Last night, our team commenced supporting members in the Northern Region as an unrelated Critical Incident unfolded. Again, we will be with them through every step of the process.  

With the Cooma matter now before the courts, the PANSW’s legal assistance will continue as set out under our rules. As the matter is now before the courts, the PANSW will not publicly comment on the specific issues of this case. Given the extent of the commentary, the PANSW will not encourage further commentary on a matter that will now be in the hands of the NSW Justice System for determination. It is of paramount importance in any matter that they are determined in the courts under the rules of law and not on the front pages or social media posts. 

Regarding the incident involving the Conviction of Constable Ryan Barlow, The PANSW have stood with Ryan and his family since this matter commenced in 2020. The PANSW has and will continue to provide legal assistance to the member, and I have instructed our Legal team to investigate any avenue of appeal. 

In these challenging times, I simply say that the NSW Police Force and its members with millions of interactions per year remain the most professional Police Force in the country and I am proud to wear the uniform and stand with members. The PANSW and I will continue to fight for the legal rights, industrial rights and pay and conditions for all members - today and into the future.

Continue to wear our uniform with pride. I thank you, our members, for all that you do - day in and day out. We are here, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as Police Officers for the people of NSW and the PANSW will continue to be there for its members.    

Kevin Morton