A GUARD of honour stretched from the doors of Orange Police Station on Thursday to farewell one of its most experienced colleagues.
Senior Constable Ron McGovern has served 29 years with NSW Police, the last 18 of them at Orange - he is now on leave before formally retiring next year.
Bagpiper Don Peck led the marching-out and officers lined the path to a police car, which took Senior Constable McGovern for a lap of honour.
He joined the police force in 1991 after 14 years as a wood machinist, saying he was attracted to helping people and the job security.
Starting as a probationary constable at Blacktown, he later moved to Bemboka on the far South Coast where he managed a one-man station.
"It was brilliant, I loved it," he said.
Thursday's marching-out ceremony...
"In Blacktown, you're reacting to crime whereas in country areas, it's more proactive policing."
However, the town's proximity to the Snowy Mountains meant Senior Constable McGovern often responded to road incidents.
"The hardest was when I had to go to my son's best friend's farm and inform the family their daughter, who was 26 and six months' pregnant, had been killed in a fatal motor vehicle accident," he said.
"I've never forgotten that."
With jobs hard to find on the far South Coast for high school graduates, he decided to move his family to Orange in 2001 where he continued in general duties and worked with domestic violence victims.
Most recently, he has handled the briefs of evidence prior to cases going to court, plus matters for the coroner.
"In a brief, [an officer] might say they spoke to someone and I ask them, 'where's the statement?' and if they haven't got it, they get it and their evidence is presented to the court," he said.
Senior Constable McGovern said the face of crime had not changed much.
"Drugs have always been there, although the types of drugs have changed," he said.
He said advances in mobile technology had made policing much easier.
"If someone videos it, you've got them," he said.
Central West Police District Superintendent Chris Taylor said the police would miss Senior Constable McGovern's wealth of knowledge.
"Our conviction rate is over 80 per cent and a lot of that is down to the work's Ron's been doing," he said.
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