Hervey Bay police officer Sergeant Paul Jervis retiring from the force after almost four decades of service. The Hervey Bay Police Station formed a guard of honour for his last ride in a police car.
Hervey Bay police officer Sergeant Paul Jervis retiring from the force after almost four decades of service. The Hervey Bay Police Station formed a guard of honour for his last ride in a police car. Jessica Lamb

FAREWELL: Love of bush never left retiring Bay cop

TO THE sound of bagpipes, police officers from across the region lined up in a guard of honour outside Hervey Bay station for Sergeant Paul Jervis's last ride in a police car after a four decade career on Friday.

<<SEE THE GUARD OF HONOUR IN PHOTOS HERE>>

In September 1980, the English-born, South African-raised former army signalman walked into the police academy for the first time.

 

Retiring Sergeant Paul Jervis from Hervey Bay Police station on one of his last shifts of an almost four decade career.
Retiring Sergeant Paul Jervis from Hervey Bay Police station on one of his last shifts of an almost four decade career.

 

"I left the army and applied for three jobs and the police were the only ones to get back to me," he said with a laugh.

 

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis when he entered the police force.
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis when he entered the police force.

 

Just shy of 40 years on the force, Sgt Jervis served at Acacia Ridge, Holland Park and Woolloongabba police stations before landing on a motorbike at the Ipswich traffic branch in the 1980s.

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time in Ipswich traffic branch in the 80s.
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time in Ipswich traffic branch in the 80s.

Attending his fair share of fatal traffic crashes, Sgt Jervis said when dealing with death, gruelling work was all for the relatives.

"You try and satisfy them as much as you can to find out what happened. Some of those fatals out bush you never find out what happened, if they fell asleep or if they swerved for a kangaroo. You just don't know, so you have to investigate it as fully as you possibly can and satisfy those relatives and say 'this is what we think happened'," he said.

From there, Sgt Jervis got the boss's job at Winton and was the Officer in Charge from 1990 to 1995.

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time as Officer in Charge of Winton station in the 90s.
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time as Officer in Charge of Winton station in the 90s.

Leaving the six-man-station, he transitioned to Longreach and into plain clothes for a detective's appointment.

It was then Sgt Jervis joined the infamous stock squad.

 

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time doing bush patrols in Longreach.
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time doing bush patrols in Longreach.

 

"I investigated the theft of cattle, sheep and horses," he explained.

"We used motorbikes, horses, helicopters and obviously our four-wheeled-drives.

"Running around with the stock, mustering and chasing thieves - it was great fun."

 

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time in the stock squad.
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time in the stock squad.

 

Country policing is a different beast to the beat in the cities, Sgt Jervis explained.

"It could be difficult to differentiate between the job and normal life because everyone knows you are the local cop when you go into the local store," he said.

 

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time as a detective in the stock squad
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis during his time as a detective in the stock squad

 

After 20 years living in the bushland of western Queensland, Sgt Jervis headed to Hervey Bay where he has spent the better part of the last decade, his own team of first responders.

"The biggest change I have seen in 40 years was the Fitzgerald Inquiry," he said.

 

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis rubbing shoulder with John Travolta earlier in his career.
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis rubbing shoulder with John Travolta earlier in his career.

 

"And the change from manual typewriters to computers. I still remember my first police car was an XC Ford Falcon. The technology is just leaps ahead and we have so many more officers and so many more female officers too."

Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis on Fraser Island.
Hervey Bay police retiring sergeant Paul Jervis on Fraser Island.

As he begins pre-retirement leave, Sgt Jervis said he wasn't done with the workforce and planned to take a job with Fraser Coast Regional Council working as a ranger in Hervey Bay.

"As a cop, I think what I love is just being able to help people," he said.

"Whether it is a serious offence, working with a team and getting the bad guy at the end - that is great satisfaction but it's also the old lady down the street who had been harassed by the local grub and one day you get him and it's just as satisfying.

"I can't think of any one thing, it's been great' the whole lot, to be honest."



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