Meritorious Service Medal for two police officers

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Meritorious Service Medal for two police officers
Two New Zealand Police officers have been honoured for their exceptional service and commitment to Police, particularly in law enforcement, border security and forensics.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has presented Meritorious Service Medals to Senior Constable Errol Van de Ven, an Auckland based investigator and analyst with the Upper North investigation support unit, and Inspector John Walker, the National Manager of Forensic Services, based at Police National Headquarters.

This was the third time that MSMs have been awarded since they were promulgated by Royal Warrant in October 2013. They are the highest award that can be made by the Police Commissioner.

“I’m delighted to award these medals to two people who have made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand Police and the communities they serve,” Commissioner Bush said.

“They’ve consistently performed at a top level in their diverse fields – from supporting intelligence and analysis in complex investigations, forging strong partnerships with other border security companies and organisations, through to leading the innovation, development and implementation of police capability and capacity in modern forensics services.

The Minister of Police, Hon Judith Collins, also attended this week’s ceremony and congratulated the officers.

The recipients are:

Senior Constable Errol Van de Ven – Investigation Support: Upper North

For outstanding service and commitment to New Zealand Police, law enforcement and border security.

Senior Constable Van de Ven joined police as a recruit in 1979 and was posted to Papakura and then in 1988 to Auckland International Airport where he is based.

Currently a senior investigator providing intelligence and investigation support in multiple areas of policing, Senior Constable Van de Ven knows the airport environment inside out and has developed strong partnerships with others working in the New Zealand border security and law enforcement fields. He’s highly regarded by his peers, other public service and private organisations for his expertise and commitment to inter-agency cooperation.

Senior Constable Van de Ven’s knowledge of airport workings, people, policies, processes and passenger movements helps assist with effective and efficient policing including serious drug investigations and other security or sensitive operations.

His personable approach and readiness to help is known to many working in or visiting the airport complex, including the travelling public.

Senior Constable Van de Ven’s expertise and professionalism is also regularly sought in running or assessing workplace based inter-agency training exercises – all designed to ensure people know what is needed and what to do in times of crisis.

Inspector John Walker – National Manager Police Forensic Services, Police National Headquarters.

For significant contributions to New Zealand Police’s forensic services.

Inspector Walker has headed the police national forensic services team since 2008 and has led the innovation and development of police capability, capacity and technology of our forensic support structure.

He initially joined police as a Cadet in 1973 and worked as a Constable in Invercargill, Gore and Bluff before leaving police in 1976. He rejoined NZ Police in 1982 and three years later moved to Wellington as a document examination officer in the Crime Service Centre.

He’s been an Inspector since 2004 and since that time has been an influential figure in modernising a highly functional police forensics service which contributes to more effective identification, apprehension and conviction of offenders.

Inspector Walker is recognised in New Zealand and overseas for his forensics technical knowledge and input to organisations such as the Senior Managers of Australian and NZ Forensics Laboratories, and the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agencies National Institute of Forensic Services.

His achievements include implementing a career development and qualification structure for photographers and crime scene examiners; modernising tools, techniques and databases for the specialists working in the police forensics field; reviewing requirements for the upgraded Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and managing forensic services relationships with ESR.
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