Previous Post: 1999
In reality you could say that my 1999 bout of depression, stress or whatever you want to call it may have been an attempt to fly the Policeman’s Nest, an attempt to spread my wings and leave something that had been part of my life for over 18 years. The problem was, my wings had been clipped and I wasn’t going anywhere. For one, I didn’t have the balls to leave the security of the police and two I was scared stiff that the big outside world didn’t want me and rejection was always something that I didn’t handle too well….just ask my ex-girlfriends.
After going to countless counselling sessions, running till my man breasts evaporated with my waistline and my golf handicap had dropped 10 shots I returned to work in April 2000 after nearly 4 months off. I wasn’t allowed to go back to the department that had sent me to the modern-day loony bin…that’s a big no-no when you fall over like I did. I moved into the intelligence area of the police and created an empire out of a local criminal gang that propelled me back into a world of being “wanted” and had me fluttering my clipped wings, folding them up and settling back into the comfortable nest that is the police. You see, I’d learned nothing and addressed bugger all of my deficiencies and what I did for 18 months in intelligence was create a network of police and criminals who helped stroke my ego and had me quickly forgetting the path I had just travelled. If I looked really hard at myself I can honestly say that when I returned to work in 2000 I wasn’t interested in changing my life and getting a better balance in it. I was totally committed to what I thought was repairing a shattered reputation and was more interested in morphing back into the police culture and its so-called macho image. In reality that image smacks of fantasy and it doesn’t really tell us anything about the variety of people who work in the police and some of the fragile personalities that swill around trying to find their purpose in it. In a way I was probably one of those people but I’d been in the job way too long and I had moulded myself into someone I thought I should be and not the highly sensitive person that I really am.
For me personally I wanted to be accepted by my peers, that, for some unknown reason, was extremely important for me, and at the time I would do and say anything to get that acceptance. It was a sad indictment on me to be honest, as I can say now, that I neglected my wife at the time, and, my daughters who needed a husband and father. They had all supported me through my illness but as usual were confined to another side of my life that really should have been my priority.
After a while I got the urge to go back to my roots and try to re-discover why I joined the police. I took a dive into the deep end and went back to uniform branch and working the streets where the real work goes on. I use to say that working the streets was the hub and that all the squads that police had created were just spokes in a wheel that help support those uniform staff that in reality were at the sharp end of policing. I’d long left that side and for the past few years had been on squads who’s staff worked social hours and all tended to forget in their previous life they had been one those fresh-faced, bright-eyed youngsters who knew why they had joined the police.
So off I went…back to working the streets and getting my hands dirty…I thoroughly enjoyed it…..for 6 months at least. I was about 5 months in and I was working a late shift, I had one of those bright-eyed new recruits with me and we were looking for bad people. As we drove down one of the main roads my attention was drawn to a car going in the other direction. I looked at the driver and he looked at me….that was a bad move on his part as it tickled my curiosity and flicked on a switch that had been 20 years in the making. I told my partner to switch the lights on and I swung the car around. The driver saw me coming and decided that he wasn’t going to hang around to find out what I wanted. He floored the accelerator and sent a cloud of blue smoke gushing from his exhaust system. I tested the Holden’s gearbox but could only watch him disappear around a corner 300 metres ahead. As we tried to catch him we heard an almighty bang and as we drove around the corner we were confronted by a scene of absolute carnage. Dust and smoke thickened the atmosphere and as it began to clear we saw wreckage strewn across the road and footpaths. I jumped out of the car and ran to one of the vehicles and was confronted with a scene that haunts me to this day. Not because it was anything worst than I had seen before but because it was the body of an innocent person who had died because of a decision I had made…an innocent person who was going home to his family but was now a statistic because of me……….
Categories: My Story 2016