Two police officers who have, or are serving in our district, were among 10 NSW Police to have been awarded Australian Police Medals (APM) in recognition of their dedication and service as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours.
Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden and Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler received the awards at the weekend.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb congratulated the APM recipients, many of whose professional experiences have focused on improving outcomes for our most vulnerable communities.
“Not only is the award a special honour, but it also recognises the valuable contribution these officers make to their community each and every day,” Commissioner Webb said.
“Policing is a unique career, which exposes us to the best and worst of humanity and the APM is recognition of selfless duty to serving and protecting the community.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole praised the APM recipients for their ongoing commitment to the policing profession and serving their communities.
“This important recognition serves as a thank you, not just from their colleagues and the communities they serve so diligently, but also the entire state,” Mr Toole said.
The medal recipients are announced twice a year, in January (Australia Day) and June (Queen’s Birthday).
Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden – Traffic and Highway Patrol Command
Assistant Commissioner McFadden was first stationed at Castle Hill Patrol in 1988 before transferring to the Cumberland Special Operations Group in 1991. He then returned to Castle Hill in 1995, working in criminal investigations and was designated as a detective in 1998. In April 1999, he transferred to the Internal Affairs Investigation Unit and was promoted to the rank of detective inspector in 2002.
In January 2005, he transferred to Hawkesbury Local Area Command as the Crime Manager and relieved periodically as the Commander at Hawkesbury, St Marys, Holroyd and Kuring-Gai Local Area Commands.
He was promoted to the rank of superintendent in late 2010 as Holroyd Local Area Commander and in 2013, transferred to Penrith Local Area Command, where he led the formation of Nepean Police Area Command in 2017.
Assistant Commissioner McFadden has extensive experience in the management of high risk, complex and significant operational situations where he provides highly effective processes and quality operational leadership. At the Penrith and Nepean Commands, he led an Integrated Complex Case Panel, linking a range of government and support agencies to tackle instances of complex social disadvantage across three police area commands. Most recently, he worked in partnership with cultural and community leaders to provide critical leadership of the Fairfield community through the Covid-19 pandemic.
He had been the Fairfield City Police Area Commander since 2020 before being promoted to his current rank of assistant commissioner and Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander.
Assistant Commissioner McFadden is actively engaged in the development of police officers and next generation police leaders. He has been involved in the Superintendents’ Development Program; Inspectors’ Transition Program; Incident Commanders Course; Critical Incident Course and Women’s Leadership Program. In 2017, he was awarded the Commissioner’s Perpetual Award for the Advancement of Women in Policing as a mentor.
Assistant Commissioner McFadden is a consummate dedicated police officer, recognised for his tireless devotion to policing over 34 years.
Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler – The Hills Police Area Command
Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler commenced his service in general duties at Regent Street and Redfern Police Stations, before transferring to Stuart Town in 1988, Coonamble in 1991, Kempsey in 1993 and then commenced Accident Investigation Duties in 1994.
In 1996, he returned to Sydney as a General Duties Supervisor at Chatswood, leading to further promotion to the rank of inspector in 2005.
Chief Inspector Fowler is recognised for his long and distinguished career, having served the community in both rural and metropolitan areas, his diversity of policing experience and significant acts of courage.
He is a respected professional role model in policing, acknowledged for his diligence and high ethical standards. He has been recognised externally on several occasions for his professionalism and ethics by the NSW Ombudsman and his approach to complaint management is well known throughout the Force.
In July 2019, Chief Inspector Fowler suffered a personal tragedy and his family faced significant public attention but throughout, he continued to advocate for proper due process and justice, such is his professionalism, decorum and reputation as a highly respected police officer serving the community of NSW for more than 40 years.
Main picture: Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden courtesy NSW Police.