Two Police Officers Honoured with Bravery Awards

NZPA | Wed October 21st, 2015

The outstanding bravery of Senior Constable Adrian Oldham and Constable Ben Turner will be honoured today with a New Zealand Police Association Bravery Award.

The award will be presented at 3.30pm today by Prime Minister John Key at the Association’s 80th Annual Conference in Wellington.  The Police Association Bravery Awards represent recognition of an outstanding act of bravery by an officer’s peers.

Police Association President Greg O’Connor said, “Both Senior Constable Oldham and Constable Turner showed extraordinary courage in two separate and very different events.”

Mr Oldham entered a burning home alone, without any fire safety equipment, to rescue a 77 year old woman trapped inside. Unable to see and struggling to breathe in choking black smoke, Mr Oldham crawled in the direction of where he had seen the woman. Feeling his way around in the thick smoke, he found her and grabbed her ankle, dragging her to the window and then out to safety with the help of a colleague who had arrived at the scene.

Mr Turner was involved in the pursuit of a known armed and dangerous offender which led to a confrontation at a crowded supermarket car park. The offender, armed with a sawn-off shotgun, was attempting to carjack an elderly woman. Mr Turner, who was unarmed, rushed towards the offender, pulling him away from the woman, putting his own life at risk to help another, thereby showing true selflessness and bravery.

“The actions of Senior Constable Oldham and Constable Turner exemplify the traditions and highest ideals of policing,” Mr O’Connor said. 

“Senior Constable Oldham’s decision to enter the burning home alone undoubtedly saved the life of Neta Lawrence. Constable Turner’s actions undoubtedly saved members of the public and police from further violence from an armed and dangerous offender.

“It is for these acts of extraordinary bravery that the two officers are being honoured by their peers with a New Zealand Police Association Bravery Award.

“A New Zealand Police Association Bravery Award is the highest honour the Police Association can bestow on its members to recognise such extraordinary acts.  It is fitting that the award is presented by New Zealand’s Prime Minister as the highest representative of the society police are sworn to protect,” Mr O’Connor said.

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