Sergeant quick on the draw
Deniliquin cop also a cartoonist
STEVE Bloomfield is a cop. A sergeant to be more precise. Highway Patrol. I can hear the moans, groans and politically incorrect verbiage right now.
Steve is a sergeant of police based at Deniliquin, NSW. As with any policeman, he has seen more than his fair share of tragedy. In Highway Patrol he has been on the frontline in more accidents involving trucks than you or I would care to think about.
Steve and an offsider run the shop. There are two supervisors, seven staff in Deniliquin, two in Balranald, two at Hay and three in Finley.
“Between us we cover an area from Euston in the west to Mulwala in the east, up as far as West Wyalong and down to the Victorian border,” he said.
“It’s a fair area. We need to know the demographics and geographic attributes of the places where we work and we task our staff accordingly. Heavy vehicles are a big part of it.”
The very nature of Steve’s occupation brings with it plenty he’d rather not see.
“It’s my job to make sure the blokes get home to their families at night. We can do it in all sorts of ways,” he said.
“You need to be very aware of your own mental health. The police force does offer all sorts of support if you need it. From a home point of view, having the support of the family is a big part of it, of course.
“You just can’t lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve and sometimes if it doesn’t work you ask yourself why. Sometimes there are things you can’t prevent. It’s a very interesting job.”
Outside of work, Steve rides his motorbike, goes camping and loves to draw. Cartoons to be precise. Steve was a cartoonist for Truckin’ Life magazine for nearly 20 years.
Living in New South Wales he would do the drawings and mail them up to the magazine office in Brisbane.
“My teachers discovered that I could draw cartoons when I was at school, when I wasn’t supposed to be drawing. I was quite distracted by my doodling, but I eventually developed an ability to pay attention and not pay attention at the same time,” he said.
“My 10-year-old hasn’t developed the second half of that yet. He can draw but he hasn’t picked up on the paying attention part.”
The drawing is all freelance now.
“The publishing industry has changed. Local stuff is not in as much demand. There is still a bit of a market for personalised stuff. We try and get ourselves out there when we can.”
Twenty-nine years a policeman, the cartooning has been a very satisfying sideline for Steve.
“I’ve always loved trucks and I’m passionate about the road transport industry. This is a good way to be on a periphery without owning one. I dream from time to time, but it’s a lot easier to draw them than to own them.”
He was a for Truckin’ Life magazine for nearly 20 years.
ON THE BEAT: Highway Patrol officer Sergeant Steve Bloomfield is based in Deniliquin and has been drawing trucks for... well, forever.
A cartoon by Steve Bloomfield in 1988 having a crack at Bruce Honeywill’s road tests.