New South Wales Police Force
New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione
Two Of The Force’s Best ‘March Off’ At Today’s Ceremony
The longest-serving female Police officer in NSW will join a true ‘legend’ within the Force, to march off the parade ground at today’s attestation ceremony.
Inspector Irene Juergens APM, or IJ, as she is affectionately known, joined the ranks of the Force more than 44 years ago.
Superintendent Ron Mason BM APM joined the NSW Police Cadets in 1971. His 38 years of Policing have been a testament to his credo, ‘Never ask of anyone what you wouldn’t willingly do yourself.’
Commissioner Scipione will salute the retiring officers as they march off the parade ground today.
“We are losing two greats within the Force today – they have each led distinguished and exceptional careers.”
“Through their ethical and diligent service they have imparted a great legacy on the officers that have been honoured to serve with them.” Commissioner Scipione said.
- Inspector Irene Juergens APM
Inspector Irene Juergens attested as a probationary constable on 4 April 1966 then went to work in the School Lecturing Section of the Metropolitan Traffic Branch.
In 1972 she was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Branch and later began duties in the Crime Prevention Section.
In 1981 Irene attained the rank of sergeant and in September the next year was appointed officer-in-charge of the Crime Prevention Section attached to the Community Relations Branch, Police Headquarters.
In April 1994 Irene was promoted to senior sergeant and worked as Crime Prevention Officer at the North Region Command. In July 1997 she was transferred to Brisbane Water LAC as the Crime Prevention Officer.
In 2004 Irene became the state coordinator for the Volunteers in Policing program, and since that time has been instrumental in expanding and developing this unique program.
“The volunteers in policing have contributed 1.7 Million voluntary hours and they are decent, fabulous people who have one common aim – to help members of the NSW Police Force.” Inspector Juergens said.
Noted for her elegance and impeccable grooming, IJ has seen many changes in Police since she joined the Force as a trainee on 21 February 1966.
“Officers today think it’s funny, but in those days it was mandatory for everyone in the Women Police Office to wear hat and gloves and carry a handbag. The Police even supplied the handbag!”
“Luckily I met the requirement at the time of being at least five foot six inches tall. There were two areas at that time for women joining the Force – school traffic safety lecturing and plain clothes.” Inspector Juergens said.
The legacy of IJ will long be felt within the NSW Police Force: she will be greatly missed by volunteers and Police officers alike. Commissioner Scipione noted, as he approved her retirement request, “Reluctantly approved.” A great loss to the NSWPF.”
Inspector Irene Juergen’s last day of work with the NSW Police Force will be December 31, 2009.
- Irene has had a number of ‘firsts’ to her credit during her years in the Force. She was the first woman sergeant of Police to receive the APM in the Australia Day Honours in January 1995. Her husband, John Toms, who retired as Chief Superintendent of the then-Central Coast District in 1996, received the APM at the same time, making them also the first husband and wife recipients of the award.
- Along with other policewomen she was also a recipient of the Commissioner’s Police Perpetual Award in 2006 for their contribution to the 90 Years of Women in Policing ceremonies. IJ was also surprised to learn recently that, along with a number of other NSWPF officers, she is listed in Who’s Who of Australian Women.
- Throughout her career Inspector Juergens has received a number of other awards, namely the National Medal and first and second clasps, and the NSW Police Medal and four clasps for diligent and ethical service.
- Superintendent Ronald Mason BM, APM
On October 27, 1973, Ron Mason was sworn in as a Probationary Constable. During the following years he was stationed at Mascot, St Marys, Penrith, Maroubra, Broadway, Kings Cross, City Central, and the Tactical Response Group.
In 1986 Ron Mason was forced to test his steel when a soldier from the Holsworthy army base stole an armoured personnel carrier. Ron stopped the officer on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“We knew he was going to kill somebody so I ran after him and when I hopped on the front he appeared from the hatch and pulled a gun on me.” Supt. Mason. said.
Each man fired a shot during the ensuing struggle and Lance Corporal Ross Edwards was killed.”
A year later, Ron’s life was on the line again, this time at the Brewarrina Rodeo where he agreed to enter a bull-riding competition. He hoped to break down the barriers with the local community, but almost broke his neck instead.
In 2003 Ron was promoted to Superintendent and has since been stationed at Darling River, Manly, The Rocks and Botany Bay.
Ron repeated the relationship-building exercise 18 years later as the commander of the Darling River LAC but this time it cost him a broken arm. He says it was worth it because his efforts led to a record reduction in crime and zero assaults on police during the following 12 months.
Renowned for his strong leadership, Ron would often roster himself on patrol overnight with his young troops, earning their confidence and loyalty.
“I love the cops; you meet the best people in the world. You also meet the worst people in the world, but you get a chance to lock them up.” Supt. Mason. said.
At Botany Bay LAC, he held the command together after the shooting death of one of his officers, Highway Patrol Officer, Glenn McEnallay, at Hillsdale in 2002.
“It had a devastating effect on all of us.” Supt Mason said.
“But it brought us closer together. It reminded the public that Police officers are human; that we are not invincible.” Supt. Mason. said.
- In 1989, Superintendent Mason was awarded the Bravery Medal in relation to the offender in an armoured personnel carrier on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
- Superintendent Mason was awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service in the Australia Day Honours List of 2006 and has received the National Medal and clasp.
- He has been awarded the NSW Police Medal and four clasps for ethical and diligent service and has been awarded the Commissioners Olympic Citation.
- In 1985 he was awarded the Jack McNeill Award for the Tactical Response Group for courage and devotion to duty at the Bathurst Riot.