NSW Police, Senior Constable Greg Martin handed his badge after he completing his final shift last Thursday, retiring after almost 35 years of service.
A local, Greg has been stationed in Cobar with the Highway Patrol for the past 16 years.
Upon leaving school, Greg completed an apprenticeship with the railways in Sydney before joining the force.
He said it had been a “bit of a family tradition” with one of his uncles and also an aunt serving as police officers.
“Waverley, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, was my first station from the academy and then I went to Mudgee and did five and a half years.
“Then I went back to Sydney where I was posted to the Special Weapons and Operations Squad and did five years.”
He then did stints in Bourke, at a one man station in Mendooran and also worked in Dubbo for a while before returning with his family to his home town of Cobar.
Greg said while at times his work has been very dangerous, it’s also been very interesting.
“When I was with the Special Weapons and Operations Squad it was a fairly dangerous sort of a job but we did some hard jobs, some dangerous jobs and some memorable jobs.”
He recalls working in close personal protection for dignitaries, including the queen, a prime minister and a United States president.
“I was part of the sniper squad when American president George Bush Senior came into Sydney in the early 90s.
“We were flat out for two days as a sniper team just going all over Sydney, leap-frogging the motorcade to get to the next point of call and get set up.
“Working with the American secret service was pretty good.
“I’ve chauffeured the State Governor Marie Bashir. It was lovely to have her in the car and talk with her. She reminded me of my grandmother.
“And I had the opportunity in Bourke just recently when Tony Abbott was the Prime Minister to drive him.”
“As a country cop you’ve got to live, work and get involved in your community and get the respect of the community,” Greg said.
“With country policing, you know your district, you know your people and know resources.”
Greg said there were too many times in his career that he had to knock on people’s doors to advise them of a death in the family.
“In Mudgee on average we had 10 fatalities per year. I can remember when I was working in Dubbo and five young people were all killed in a car.”
He said the door knocks are aspects of his job he won’t miss and he’s also looking forward to spending this Christmas with his family.
“The last 16 years in particular, or even more, I have missed out on spending Christmas day with family. I’d only be able to get home for a minute to open the presents but then head off again.”
Greg plans to continue living in Cobar and continue his work with the Army Reserve as part of the NSW Driver Training Team with the University of NSW army regiment.
“At the moment they are replacing all their trucks and 4WD vehicles so we have a big program in the next few years of training.”
Greg has also re-nominated to serve on Cobar Shire Council for another term, is keen to help out with the Copper City Men’s Shed and to build a home on their block of land.
“We will stick around Cobar for a while.”