Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey finishes as acting commander of Port Stephens

TIME: Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey will leave the Port Stephens command on Friday. He's pictured here with Acting Sergeant Duncan Arnold.
TIME: Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey will leave the Port Stephens command on Friday. He's pictured here with Acting Sergeant Duncan Arnold.

Friday will mark Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey's last day at the helm of the Port Stephens Local Area command, a role he's filled since April.

Port has been home to the Detective Supt since 1986 despite his various secondments in leadership roles. To name a few, he's been relieving commander at Quakers Hill, Blue Mountains, Manning Great Lakes, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland. It's a promotion that takes him away again - this time it's a permanent posting as Northern Region Operations Manager - putting him in charge of an area spanning the Hawkesbury north to the Tweed.

"I'm pretty happy with it," Detective Supt Humphrey said. "I know there's been some disquiet about the number of commanders through Port Stephens but that is the nature of the business. Despite the fact, there has been a number of commanders, the staff still punch above their weight and provide a first-rate policing service is testament to that."

His promotion means Port will have its seventh commander in nine years when Acting Superintendent Steve Laksa takes up the role from Friday. He will oversee operations until a restructure of the command is finalised. This will see the Port Stephens Command expanded to include the Maitland local government area (part of Central Hunter), forming Port Stephens Hunter Police District.

When that happens, Central Hunter commander Superintendent Craig Jackson will be in charge of combined command.

"I will continue to keep an eye on the [Port Stephens-Hunter] command and I'll assist where I can," Detective Supt Humphrey said.

Since April he said there had been numerous highlights, including the introduction of a driver training program with Raymond Terrace Rotary and a mental health assesment trial.

With the latter, police play a much more hands on role in the assessment of people. Previously, police would deliver the person to the psych ward.

"During my time as commander I've overseen the adoption of some innovative policing," he said.

"Especially with these roadside assessments and it's been so successful, that it's saved a lot of time. In one instance it was determined the person was instead having a general medical episode and transfered to hospital for treatment."

One of his last duties included overseeing the Port Stephens Local Area Command Awards last week.

Detective Supt Humphrey said nothing would change with his departure.

"With a busy holiday period coming up it will be business as usual, the change in command won't affect the ability to respond," he said.