Casino Police Station.
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Woman thanks "caring, empathetic” cop who helped find sister

A TOUCHING story of a local woman's experience with a Casino police officer has warmed the hearts of Northern Rivers residents.

Patricia Long shared her story on the Facebook group Casino Information Exchange with a post that garnered a lot of heartwarming comments and well wishes:

"I'd like to share a wonderful story with you. This is a letter I wrote to the Commander of Police:

Dear Commander

I'm writing this letter to commend one of your Senior Constables in the Richmond Valley Casino Office. His name is Senior Constable Sam Martin. I have been looking everywhere for my sister for 11 years. We lost contact 4 days after I buried our father. I couldn't understand her reasons for not coming to his funeral.

I decided after going through all the motions to find her: notices in the news papers, Salvation Army, Jig Saw, Facebook etc for years to finally list her as a missing person. So I rang our local office here in Casino & got this wonderful person on the other end of the line. He was absolutely fantastic in his mannerisms, made me feel at ease, asked me all the appropriate questions etc. I gave him all the information I had. After some searching he said can I advise to you ring this number in Queensland & tell them everything you have told me.

I followed his instructions to a tee, unfortunately Queensland Police were not obliging as Senior Constable Martin. In fact I got off the phone disheartened after this conversation & almost burst into tears. Thinking well I'm never going to fine her & tell her we just buried our other sister 1 month before.

I went upstairs to assist my husband (who is paralysed) & was just placing him in his lounge when the phone rang. It was my sister, I couldn't believe it. Wow we cried & talked for hours.

I tried to catch Senior Constable Sam Martin for several days after but as you know he was flat out. Anyway to cut a long story short, finally got to speak to him again & thank him for all his help & advice. Once again he was wonderful & generally interested in were we go for here, when will I see each other etc. After explaining to him my husband is paralysed & lives with chronic pain which makes it difficult for us to travel. Plus I can't even afford to pay the high Home Care fees to help me around the house & with lawn mowing since the government privatisation etc. He thought for a moment & said well she is on a pension why don't you suggest she catch the train. Unfortunately she is too sick ATM however we may get to see each other sometime down the track. In the meantime we have the phone to catch up on lost time.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is Senior Constable Sam Martin went way beyond his call of duty, was empathetic & caring. He was genuinely happy we found each other & he took the time to help find a solution for us both. He is the type of person who will go along in his field. Personally he would make a fantastic Commissioner of Police. His Communication skills are next to none.

Could you please once again pass on my sincere heartfelt thanks & wish him all the best in his career from my family & I. I'm hoping I might get to meet him one day & thank him personally.

Yours faithfully

Patricia Long"

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