Police and others involved in March 15 response to be honoured with awards

Police staff, as well as Muslim community members, civilians, and other organisations will be...
Police staff, as well as Muslim community members, civilians, and other organisations will be recognised in the Operation Deans Awards.Photo: File image
A private ceremony tomorrow will recognise 59 people involved in the response to the Christchurch mosque terror attacks.

Police staff, Muslim community members, civilians, and other organisations will be recognised in the Operation Deans Awards' first and largest ceremony in Christchurch on Tuesday morning.

It will be attended by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, Police Minister Hon Poto Williams, Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price, Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Ngāi Tahu and senior members of the Muslim community.

"The events of 15 March 2019 have left an indelible mark on the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people here and around the world," Coster said.

"The victims, their loved ones, survivors and members of the Muslim community remain front of mind during occasions such as this.

"We commemorate them as we honour those who displayed exceptional courage, skill, leadership and humanity on the day as well as the weeks and months that followed."

The police response, known as Operation Deans, was the largest response and investigation operation in New Zealand police history.

"Now is the time to recognise the efforts of police staff and others who worked tirelessly to save lives, ensure public safety and hold a terrorist to account," Coster said.

"It is also timely to acknowledge the actions of so many people in the community and the large number of organisations and groups who contributed in so many ways. We are thankful to them all."

Fifty-nine staff will tomorrow be presented with a range of Commissioner's Awards.

But given that Operation Deans involved police staff from across the country, citations will be awarded to approximately 3800 staff during private district-based award ceremonies over the coming months.

Each recipient of an Operation Deans Award will receive a green and black ribbon designed in consultation with Muslim representatives.

The March 15, 2019, terror attacks on Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre by an Australian national claimed 51 lives and was the worst terror attack in New Zealand history.

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