TWEED police and civilians joined together at the PCYC Tweed Heads on Wednesday for a Tweed-Byron Local Area Command award ceremony.
Con Varela was recognised for his bravery for stopping a stabbing at Murwillumbah in 2011.
Mr Varela joined 33 other civilians and police officers who were recognised for their contribution to the community.
The awards were for long service to the community and acts of bravery during adversity.
Mr Varela was awarded the Northern Region Commendation for his actions on June 2, 2011.
"Mr Varela observed the offender ready to use the knife again and selflessly intervened to grab the wrist of the hand that held the knife. He ordered the offender to drop the knife which he did," Sergeant Mal Kentwell said at the ceremony.
"Mr Verela is commended by the NSW Police Force for his selfless and courageous action to save the life of another person in a serious assault."
Senior Constable John Verhoeven also received the Northern Region Commendation for his actions during a riotous situation in Murwillumbah in 2006.
Sen Const Verhoeven intervened in a brawl involving 50 people who were armed with weapons, including baseball bats, metal pipes and one with a jack hammer spike.
He was assaulted during the incident while trying to arrest an offender.
Northern Region assistant commissioner Carlene York said the award ceremony was not a police event but a community event.
"The fact that we are recognising 459 years of service is a measure of the quality of that service," Asst Comm York said.
"I know this region will never be short of worthy recipients.
To the civilian recipients of awards Asst Comm York said, "far too often the selfless acts that go towards helping police go unnoticed."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.