Sergeant Bryan Hammond is one of Tumut policing’s most familiar faces, but he will be bidding the town and community farewell next month.
His last shift at Tumut Police Station will be on July 10, and after that he will take up a new job with Wireless Network Services Tamworth.
This is police radio, and he will be looking after all the radios for a quarter of the state, all the base stations and all the police vehicles.
He’s well qualified for this, having a trade certificate in electronics and a Diploma in Communications from his years with the Royal Australian Navy and Fleet Air Arm, where he specialised in dipping sonar for Sea King helicopters.
When Sergeant Hammond starts at Tamworth, he’ll have four civilians and five constables that he will manage.
He’s been at Tumut Police Station since coming over from Griffith in July 2007.
He says it is going to be harder to leave Tumut than he thought it would be.
“I get a bit emotional sometimes,” he said.
“In the time my family and I have been here we’ve made a hell of a lot of friends, dealt with a lot of people and made a lot of connections.
“It’s a very good community and we have basically called it home. My daughters have pretty well grown up here. We’re not deemed to be locals but we call it home.”
Sergeant Hammond’s wife’s family live in Junee so the family will return to the area and stay in contact with people.
“We want to holiday around down here; Paddy’s River Flats is our favourite camping spot.”
One of Sergeant Hammond’s favourite memories of Tumut will be the police chats on Sounds of the Mountains radio on Friday morning.
“That started off with an idea from the then superintendent at Cootamundra, and it will have been running ten years in September,” he said.
“There’s a lot of things I have dealt with in the community; the Triple 0 bowls days and golf days with the firies. There’s a lot of things I’ll look back at. I’m not disappointed with anything, we’ve got good staff here. Inspector (Stephen) Radford was very community-oriented, got involved in the community engagements. I love talking to people as people know. I’ve loved giving people five minutes of my time because sometimes five minutes of your time makes a world of difference to those people. I always have my motto that no matter who I am dealing with, they’re always better than me.
“Have I pleased everybody? No, but the community here is very supportive of their police. We’ve got great officers who want to be here; all we want to do is protect our town, our area, and make the community safe. Have I left Tumut a better place? I don’t know. Yes, we have crime and drug problems, but we’re not alone.”
Sergeant Hammond has had people hand themselves in to be locked up because they only wanted to deal with him.
“I try to treat everyone with respect,” he said.
“My grandmother always taught me that you need to respect everyone and that’s what I have tried to do.”