Farewell and thank you

Broome Advertiser - - Opinion - Se­nior Sergeant Bren­don Bar­wick

After just over five years as of­fi­cer-in-charge of Broome Po­lice Sta­tion, it’s time for me to move on.

Po­lice of­fi­cers are sub­ject to ten­ure in the metropoli­tan and re­gional ar­eas and we must serve at least two years at a lo­ca­tion with a four-year max­i­mum.

For­tu­nately, as it was when I ar­rived as the OIC, I was in a pre­vi­ous max­i­mum ten­ure length of five years.

I have served a to­tal of nine-and-half years in Broome, first com­ing here as a very ju­nior con­sta­ble be­tween 1989 and 1994 and then back in 2013 as the OIC.

I can hon­estly say be­ing the OIC here has been very chal­leng­ing, but also very re­ward­ing.

My first night as OIC saw the ab­duc­tion and mur­der of a baby as a re­sult of a do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tion.

A month later I iden­ti­fied of­fi­cer mis­con­duct in the po­lice lock-up which lead to a Cor­rup­tion and Crime Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Four weeks later and due to an­other do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tion, two houses and one busi­ness were burnt to the ground.

To say I was won­der­ing what I had got my­self into is an un­der­state­ment. But here we are five years later.

My wife (also a po­lice of­fi­cer in Broome) and I have a strong con­nec­tion to the town with our three chil­dren all be­ing Broome ba­bies.

Our el­dest works at Broome Hos­pi­tal as a nurse, the place she was born.

It is go­ing to be a sad day when we drive out of here and go south to our new post­ing at Ger­ald­ton (leav­ing our baby be­hind), how­ever on the flip side, we are closer to our twins in Perth, who have been with­out a mum and dad for five years.

I want to thank my staff for their tire­less ef­forts in polic­ing in a very de­mand­ing and dif­fi­cult en­vi­ron­ment.

The job takes its toll on all po­lice of­fi­cers in some way or an­other wher­ever we work and polic­ing in Broome is no ex­cep­tion.

While peo­ple iden­tify it as the ideal lo­ca­tion to be posted, it is not, as the pre­vi­ous Su­per­in­ten­dent Mick Suther­land once said in The West Aus­tralian and Broome Ad­ver­tiser: “Broome is not all about co­conuts and pina co­ladas.”

To my bosses, thank you also for your on­go­ing sup­port.

I thank the Broome com­mu­nity for their sup­port to Broome Po­lice, and to the many close life­time friends we have made, I also thank you; it is sad for us to leave, but we will re­turn.

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