Senior Constable John Newton rounded out 34 years of service to the NSW community on March 8, at a slightly more lively morning tea then he expected.
“I came down expecting a quiet morning tea,” he said.
“I wasn’t expecting all the hoopla, but I’m honoured to be here with my colleagues who I’ve worked with”.
John was part of the first graduating class from the then new Goulburn Police Academy.
“I grew up in Cowra and I worked from the old Edgells cannery, while doing labouring jobs around town,” he said today.
“At the time I just thought (joining the police) was something that appealed to me, and I thought I’d give it a crack.
“I started off in Maroubra in the eastern suburbs from 1984, then I went to Parkes from 1986 to 1996 and finally to Cowra and Canowindra from 1996 to now,” he said.
John said that a lot had changed throughout his 34 years on the force.
“I’ve been around long enough to see the different eras of policing,” he said.
“The police force is a constantly evolving organisation, it makes your head spin sometimes, it’s different to when I started in 1984, every thing has changed, even the people.
“There were no computers when I started, there’s been evolving technology and advances in DNA, it’s a constant and ongoing change”.
John said the best part of the job was helping out the community.
“It’s hard to put it in words sometimes but who ever coined the phrase truth is stranger than fiction is probably pretty spot on,” he said.
“Some of the things that I have seen, people probably wouldn’t believe.
“But the best part is helping people who are down on their luck, trying to give people a helping hand who are struggling a bit.
“Apart from dealing with the criminal activity, just helping people solve problems,” he said.
Canobolas LAC Acting Superintendent, Peter Atkins, said John was a remarkable community based police officer.
“Snr Constable John Newton retires today after 34 years of service in NSW police,” he said.
“After dedicating most of his service to country NSW, the past 22 years in the Canowindra and Cowra sectors, he leaves after years of dedicated service and spending all but two years in country NSW”.
Cowra Police Inspector, Adam Beard, said that fellow officers had based the way they interact with the community off of John’s example.
“He is a highly experienced officer and we all wish him well in his retirement,” he said.
“He epitomizes the local country cop and he has done so for a long time.
“He’ll be sorely missed from Cowra Police Station and we wish him well in the future”.
As for John he’s looking forward to the change in scenery and taking some time to travel.
“It’s all still a bit surreal and I’m still getting used to the idea of being retired,” he said.
“Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life, but there’s plenty to do, so I know I won’t be bored.
“The Cowra and Canowindra communities have been great, as has Parkes, and I thank them for letting me serve them.
“I’ve got a lot of great memories and some not so good ones, I’ve made a lot of good friends in the community and the force and will be keeping in touch with them.
“It all started in Cowra. I’ve come full circle and I’m going to finish my career here, it’s my home town and a great community,” he said.