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Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Whiteside, a former Iluka resident who is the NSW Police State Rural Crime Coordinator received an Australian Police Medal for his service as part of the 2024 Kings Birthday honours. Image: contributed

Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Whiteside Kings Birthday honour

Rodney Stevens

Former Iluka resident, Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Whiteside was recognised for his outstanding contributions to policing and rural crime prevention when he was awarded the Australian Police Medal as part of the 2024 Kings Birthday honours.

Growing up in Iluka, Cameron Whiteside attended Iluka Public School, then Maclean High School, where he was captain at both schools, before he joined the NSW Police.

Since joining the NSW Police Force in 1989, Mr Whiteside’s dedication to his career and innovative policing approach have left a lasting positive impact on the state.

On April 28, 1989, Mr Whiteside began his career close to home at Casino and Coraki Police Station before moving to Mudgee Police Station in 1994.

In 1997 he shifted to plain clothes duty at Mudgee Police Station and when he was designated as a detective the following year it marked the start of combating serious crimes.

Displaying exceptional leadership and investigative skills, Mr Whiteside was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 2001, then Detective Inspector in 2012.

From 1998 to 2017, Detective Chief Inspector Whiteside led several high-profile homicide investigations, serious and complex crime cases, during which time he established himself as one of the state’s top investigators.

This led to his appointment as State Rural Crime Coordinator in 2017, a role that saw him overseeing 63 officers across 28 regional locations.

One of Det Chief Insp Whiteside’s notable achievements was the development of Operation Stock Check.

This high-visibility operation, designed to prevent and disrupt the movement of stolen livestock which contains a training program to teach all police how to conduct a livestock inspection and legislation relating to the movement of stock, has been extended nationally due its success.

In addition to his operational work, Detective Chief Inspector Whiteside is affiliated with several significant academic organisations.

As an executive member of the International Society for the Study of Rural Crime, Det Chief Inspector Whiteside is the only serving law enforcement officer on the executive, and he also serves on the advisory board for the Centre of Rural Criminology at the University of New England.

These relationships have helped link the world of academia with rural crime practitioners.

Det Chief Inspector Whiteside’s expertise was internationally recognised in July 2022 when he presented at the 75th Annual International Livestock Identification Association Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

There he talked about the experience, success, and capability of the NSW Rural Crime Prevention Team, and their innovative policing strategies.

Det Chief Inspector Whiteside told the CV Independent he was proud and honoured to receive the award.

“The recognition has triggered me to reflect on my career, that’s for sure,” he said. 

“I have been blessed to work with some great people and met many people at their best and worst, forging lifelong friendships and memories. 

“There are far too many people to thank, inside and outside of the police, but I would like to acknowledge the enduring love and support of my wife and two sons, without that none of this would have been imaginable. 

“I am extremely proud, honoured, and grateful to be awarded the Australian Police Medal for doing something that I love. 

“It is a great job and I encourage others to consider it as a career, especially those from rural and regional areas…it’s a great time to join.”

Det Chief Inspector Whiteside’s mother Norma, who lives at Maclean told the CV Independent she was extremely proud of her son’s achievements.

“As he has progressed through his career, he has experienced difficulty in some areas and great successes in others,” she said.

“The family are extremely proud of Cameron’s achievements during his career and his wife Donna has been a great support for him.

“It’s a great example that a person from a small regional community can achieve significant success.”

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb APM congratulated those officers who have been bestowed the APM.

“Through this award these officers have been recognised for their dedication to not only the policing profession but for their service to the people of NSW,” she said.

“Every one of these police have each given decades of selfless service.”

“Receiving this award will go down as one of the highlights of their career.”