Vet­eran cop sails off into sun­set

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Street Watch -

NORTH FRE­MAN­TLE WA­TER Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Greg Trew (63) wants State Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments to bring to­gether their sea res­cue abil­i­ties af­ter he re­tires from 33 years with WA Po­lice this week.

“The fu­ture chal­lenge is to align gov­ern­ment re­sources and ser­vices, in­clud­ing those in the de­part­ments of Trans­port, Fish­eries, and Parks and Wildlife, so they co-or­di­nate, and then to­gether re­duce costs and im­prove ser­vices,” Sen Sgt Trew said.

Sen Sgt Trew was re­spon­si­ble for get­ting Depart­ment of Trans­port (DoT) staff to man com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Wa­ter Po­lice’s head­quar­ters, sav­ing po­lice wages and putting DoT in con­tact with its pa­trol boats.

Tech­nol­ogy, emer­gency bea­cons (EPIRBs), mo­bile hones and skip­per train­ing were among the other changes to the job in his 10 years at Wa­ter Po­lice.

“Boats now carry EPIRBS and it’s manda­tory all around the coast, so when one is set off we now know there’s a prob­lem, we know where they are, and with the ad­vent of skip­pers’ tick­ets, most peo­ple are more aware of the dan­gers of be­ing at sea,” Sen Sgt Trew said.

“But peo­ple are still leav­ing the bilge bungs out of their boats be­fore they launch.”

Af­ter join­ing as a 29-year-old in 1979, he had long pe­ri­ods in the foren­sic, sur­veil­lance and se­cu­rity man­age­ment sec­tions of WA Po­lice.

“I ap­plied for Wa­ter Po­lice when I saw a po­si­tion and I was al­ways in­volved with the wa­ter and had a ba­sic boat coxswain’s ticket.” he said.

In WA at any time, Wa­ter Po- lice con­duct res­cues and searches, in­ves­ti­gate thefts, pro­vide ves­sels for other po­lice, and en­force recre­ational and com­mer­cial boat­ing law. Tragedy is part of the job. “A cou­ple of years ago, a cou- ple trav­el­ling around Australia drowned at Coral Bay, leav­ing their two or­phaned kids on the beach, and deal­ing with that, when there are kids stand­ing on a beach while the rest of the fam­ily is spread around Australia, is a tough gig,” Sen Sgt Trew said. But there is also hu­mour. “We once had a re­port of some­one break­ing in to a boat, and promptly boarded it, only to find an amorous cou­ple oth­er­wise en­gaged, who hadn’t told the owner they were go­ing to use his boat in Mos­man Bay,” Sen Sgt Trew said.

Mar­ried with four adult chil­dren, his im­me­di­ate plans are to “go to Indo for a surf with some geri­atric mates”, and a kite surf­ing sa­fari to Sum­bawa.

Re­tir­ing Se­nior Sergeant Greg Trew with a framed present of new pa­trol boats.

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