POLICE in the Chifley Local Area Command have been personally affected by the death of trainee detective William Crews.
The 26-year-old died in a Sydney hospital after he was shot while carrying out a drug operation on Wednesday night with seven other officers from the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad in Bankstown, in Sydney’s south-west.
The officers were fired upon outside the targeted property in Cairds Avenue about 9pm. Constable Crews was hit in the head and neck.
Philip Nguyen, 55, has since been charged with shooting with intent to murder and discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Geehad Ghazi, 27, has been charged with possession of an unauthorised firearm.
Yesterday, Acting Inspector Lionel White said the tragic situation in Sydney had personally impacted on a number of officers who knew Constable Crews.
“It is a very shocking situation, a couple of the officers here at the Bathurst Police Station knew him and have been left very upset by the situation,” he said.
“Some of the officers worked with him and trained with him before he became a detective.
“For those officers, we are offering them support and counselling during this tough time.”
Reminding people of those officers who lost their lives in the Bathurst area in the line of duty is a memorial board naming the 13 policemen who have died in the line of duty.
Since Trooper Robert Lovell McDougall died in 1853 near Sofala, 12 officers have fallen in the line of duty in Bathurst area with Sergeant Paul Mitchell Quinn the last, on the March 30, 1986.
Acting Inspector White said the latest death in Sydney brought to the forefront the difficult circumstances that police can find themselves in daily.
“On top of the very mundane things we do every day this is a stark reminder of the dangers police officers can face while in the front line,” he said. “This very much reminded us of the risk officers sometimes have to take while in the line of duty.
“It is a great tragedy.”