Top honour for officer who ‘eats and breathes’ the police

PSNI officer Sam Hoey who has been awarded a Queen's Police Medal
PSNI officer Sam Hoey who has been awarded a Queen's Police Medal

A local police officer who recently lost his wife and brother-in-law to cancer has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list for his service to the PSNI.

Sam Hoey, a 50-year-old officer who is based in Newry and South Armagh, said he “eats and breathes” the police and was “humbled” by the award of a Queen’s Police Medal.

Mr Hoey lost his wife Diane to cancer in 2010 and his brother-in-law Philip Duffie, a fellow police officer, to the same disease two years later.

When he told his family of the award he was reminded how proud the pair would have been of his achievement.

As an events planner Mr Hoey has been instrumental in bringing about changes to the patrolling style in South Armagh since the withdrawal of military support in 2007.

He was responsible for the move from helicopter and foot patrols to vehicle patrols.

He has also been involved in community policing and said he had built up some wonderful contacts on both sides of the community.

Mr Hoey said: “This award isn’t for me. It’s for the team. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with some very good colleagues and bosses, who have been extremely supportive, especially around the time Diane was ill.”

Other recipients of the Queen’s Police Medal included Detective Chief Inspector Anne Marks, an officer with over 20 years’ experience on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and Inspector Robin Gouk, who is currently serving in north Belfast.