A top Mount Isa cop has been acknowledged nationwide for her hard work and service as an investigator for over two decades.
Mount Isa Police District Detective Senior Sergeant Michelle Clark was awarded an Australian Policing Medal on Australia Day.
She was a rookie cop in Mount Isa and has spent her last four years here after a 20 year hiatus.
Det Snr Sgt Clark said she has been an investigator for 22 years, with most of that time being in North West Queensland and North Queensland.
"I came out west as a plain clothes constable in 1997, shortly after that I changed to investigative policing," Det Snr Sgt Clark said.
"Over my time I have been involved in many investigations from murders to rapes and robberies."
Now Det Snr Sgt Clark has moved her expertise to crimes against children.
"The last four years I have been in charge of the child protection unit here in Mount Isa, although as a whole we cover all the way down to Birdsville and as far north as Mornington Island," she said.
This is not the first time she has been recognised for her great work.
Two years ago she received an exemplary conduct medal with investigations clasp for her work on Operation Oscar Demotic which led to the arrest of Mount Isa pilot Josh Hoch on 340 charges including tampering with aircraft.
"That case is still going through the courts so I can can't say too much about it," she said.
Det Snr Sgt Clark said she enjoys the challenges that come with working in the North West.
"We have such a young and vulnerable team out here," she said.
"So it's about finding a balance between the jobs that come in and getting the right people to the scene which includes working with government agencies, particularly with kids who are affected by crime.
"It's a job that you never know what will happen from one day to the next. You come across some horrific stories so it's about giving it your best with the limited resources you have."
Det Snr Sgt Clark said it's a great feeling when she closes cases.
"It's probably the best part of the job, especially when it involves the perpetrator harming kids," she said.
She said Mount Isa's struggles with youth crime is something the police are always trying fix.
"When it comes to youth crime it's a hard space as far as working in that area," she said.
"The offending is certainly there with particular groups of kids, but its also about looking what is taking place in their home environment. It's far more complex than just kids committing crimes, there's reasons why which always go back to the home.
"We need to look at long term solutions which target the homes, a lot of times we find domestic violence is a large issue as well as drug and alcohol abuse. Services must try their best to get in the homes.
"These kids are our future so we need to be thinking about what legacy we are leaving behind and to be able to reflect upon what we did to try and help the situation."
She said Mount Isa has changed over the past 20 years.
"I love Mount Isa, the community has so much resilience, this is my second time back and it's changed over the 20 years. The biggest change would actually have to be how much more sport was on and there were more families around.
"But there are still some of the same faces here who love the North West and will always continue to do so," she said.
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