Sergeant quick on the draw

De­niliquin cop also a car­toon­ist

Big Rigs - - COP THIS LOT - Gra­ham Harsant

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.”

❝car­toon­ist

He was a for Truckin’ Life magazine for nearly 20 years.

PHOTO: GRA­HAM HARSANT

ON THE BEAT: High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cer Sergeant Steve Bloom­field is based in De­niliquin and has been draw­ing trucks for... well, for­ever.

PHOTO: FILE

A car­toon by Steve Bloom­field in 1988 hav­ing a crack at Bruce Honey­will’s road tests.

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