Retired police recognised for work
DEDICATED retirees from the New South Wales Police Force were paid special attention on Thursday.
The retired police men and women were treated to a retired police day, which makes up part of the NSW police force's 150th birthday celebrations.
Attendees came from all over northern NSW and south-east Queensland and enjoyed a lunch at the Tweed PCYC.
Retired Tweed Senior Constable Mahendra Blackman served in the force for 28 years after returning from a nine year stint with the Australian Navy.
Mr Blackman now lives in Tumbulgum and said he remembered his time in the police force like it was yesterday.
"I spent a lot of time in Murwillumbah as part of the highway police," he said.
"I had the nick name 'Robocop' because they said I was as hard as nails, worked like a robot and had no feelings."
He said the papers labelled him as "un-corruptible", and with that title came a strange mix of hate and love.
On the job Mr Blackman said there were some things you just could not forget, much like the time he witnessed a woman stuck in a burning truck on the Burringbar Range.
"We couldn't help her," he said.
"We just had to stand there and wait; it was horrific."
But it was not all serious.
Mr Blackman said being at the celebration brought back a lot of memories of his almost three decades in the police force.
"It's been really great to see all of the old people I knew," he said.
The respected retired Senior Constable was awarded a bravery medal for saving a man from an over turned truck which was engulfed with flames.
Retired Detective Senior Constable Ramon Blanchard said his 19 year career saw him go from the mounted police to a plain clothed to an officer in charge at a stock squad.
Mr Blanchard said the job seemed to have changed a lot.
"It's a completely different job," he said.
"To be honest I couldn't do it today.
"All these different offences have been created including cyber offences.
"In that respect in my day it was simple."
Even though he believed he would not be up to the job today, Mr Blanchard insisted serving in the force was probably the best time of his life.
Area Commander and Superintendent Stuart Wilkins said it was fantastic to see so many officers meet in the one place.
"It's been a great day and the community is recognising and appreciating their service," he said.
With 33 years of service under his belt Superintendent Wilkins said he was running into people he met in the 1980s.
All retired police officers were issued with a special 150th birthday commemorative pin at the event.