From international security to the Bay

AFTER 14 years providing personal security for people with budgets which resemble small countries, Jon Shanks decided he would like a taste of the quieter life.

But, the 44-year-old has ensured his life will not be too quiet, joining the Queensland Police Service.

Constable Shanks is one of four first-year constables to arrive on the Fraser Coast after completing six months at the Queensland Police Academy in Oxley, Brisbane.

The move to policing was not immediate - Const Shanks took a year off to go surfing before working on Nauru for three years.

Although Const Shanks remains tight lipped about his time overseas, he does let some details slip, such as working closely with high government officials and for people with a security budget which resembled the entire QPS budget.

He worked predominately in the Americas and the Middle East.

But he did say his time in security did help him while on Nauru.

"If a Westerner said they had been to their area, they opened up a lot more," he said.

At more than six foot, the new constable cuts an imposing figure, but his wide smile and jovial attitude make it clear first impressions are not accurate.

This is especially clear when he talks about his three-year-old, who is not impressed with his dad's new job.

"I think he's disappointed I'm not a fireman," he said.

The constable said part of the attraction of police work was the ability to shift work.

"I have never been a nine to five worker," he said.

So far the new job has been agreeing with him.

"I like the variety," he said.

"Every time the radio goes you don't know what's at the other end."

Const Shanks spent the first eight weeks on the job under the close eye of senior officers, and it was only in recent week they started to "loosen the reins".

As for the Fraser Coast, it was the beach which attracted Const Shanks to the area.

"I am from Byron Bay area, a very small coastal town," he said.

After not getting his first choice of the Gold Coast, there was only one option next to the ocean.

"I looked at the map for other coastal towns and Hervey Bay was it," he said.



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