DESPITE his every attempt at telling you otherwise, there’s nothing ordinary about retiring Orange police Sergeant Garry Shiels.
“That’s true,” Sergeant Shiels conceded, before smiling.
“I suppose being in the police for 32 years makes you abnormal, doesn’t it.”
Jokes aside, Sergeant Shiels was yesterday honoured for over three decades of service to the NSW Police Force with a bagpipes-led guard of honour at the Orange Police Station.
Sergeant Shiels said he was “overwhelmed” by the recognition he’d received in Orange, a command he’s been part of for 16 of his 32 years.
“This is absolutely marvellous,” he said.
“I haven’t see one of these [parades] before in Orange, it’s almost too much for an ordinary person like myself. It’s marvellous.”
Canobolas Local Area Command Superintendent David Driver believes Sergeant Shiels is worthy of every honour.
“I think anyone that spends 32 years with one organisation, that’s worthy of every recognition,” he said.
“Garry has been a very dedicated police officer, he’s achieved the rank of sergeant which is a significant achievement and he’s gone out of his way to help mentor and train junior officers.
“He’s been a valuable member of the team here in Orange and indeed the Canobolas LAC, so it’s fitting this is his last day of service and he’s retiring and we wish him well.”
After spending 18 months at the “old barracks at Redfern”, Sergeant Shiels started as a 28-year-old probationary constable in Griffith.
Nine years in the Riverina then led him to Goulburn where, taking on a teacher’s role at the police academy, Sergeant Shiels recalls his fondest memories in the force.
“I’ve had lots of experiences but I honestly think the education role is as good as any,” he said.
“Where you get these bits of putty, basically the students, and you can mould them into half-decent police officers. Teaching is a really good experience.
“I’ve had a great time, really enjoyed it. Honestly, if anyone is thinking of joining the police I’d thoroughly recommend it.
“It’s been a good lifestyle, I’ve met many friends and done many things; experienced things you’d never see in any other job at all.”