Inspector Suzanne (Sue) Douglas
For professionalism, leadership, determination and commitment to improve service delivery for vulnerable people suffering mental distress.
Inspector Douglas was appointed to lead a newly established team to focus on improving the response to people suffering mental distress.
She led the roll-out of new training programmes for both recruits and existing staff, established strong trust and relationships with mental health service providers at both regional and national levels and established national monitoring systems to minimise the instances of people being detained in Police premises for psychological assessment. She developed the trust and respect of mental health service users and ensured their voices were represented in the design of improved police training and services.
As a result of Inspector Douglas’s work, people experiencing mental distress now encounter police officers who are trained to deal compassionately with them.
Inspector Douglas’s professionalism, leadership and compassion are in the highest traditions of New Zealand Police.