Newly-retired Superintendent Chris Taylor has given his command a glowing endorsement in the final days of his time in charge of police in the region.
Superintendent Taylor, the District Commander of the Central West Police District which includes the Orange station, says police in the area "do a great job and they are part of the success" he's enjoyed while at the top of the command.
"This command punches above its weight," he said.
Superintendent Taylor retired this month, marching through a guard of honour out of the Parkes Police Station following his last day of operational service in the NSW Police Force on February 14/
Fifty years of service culminated in that moment and it was the most emotional the 69-year-old said he's been.
"That's when I really felt it," he said.
"I hadn't thought about it too much because I've been that busy at work, and work does not ease off.
"It's been a great ride and I'm very lucky to get through it injury-free and emotionally well."
Wife Roslyn later followed Superintendent Taylor through the guard of honour and together they were escorted home in a highway patrol vehicle.
Superintendent Taylor will be taking some well-earned long service leave leading to his retirement date in May 2021, at which time he will have achieved the remarkable milestone of more than 50 years of service, including 47 years as a sworn NSW Police Officer.
Originally from the Sutherland Shire, Superintendent Taylor joined the NSW Police Force on May 16, 1966 as a cadet at 16 years old.
He worked a school crossing in Arncliffe in southern Sydney at 18 years old, directing traffic.
"I think I was 13 when I decided I wanted to be a police officer - that's all I wanted and that's what happened," he said.
"I didn't expect to do it for so long."
He was sworn in as a Probationary Constable on his 19th birthday on April 28, 1969 and was stationed at No.24 Division in Cronulla.
During this time, he was also called up for National Service with the Australia Army and was very close to going to Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
He returned to Cronulla before transferring to San Souci Water Police in 1974.
Superintendent Taylor remained at the Water Police until 1998, serving for 24 years having attained the rank of Sergeant.
He resigned from the Force in 1998 and pursued a business venture in the Southern Highlands with Roslyn, but re-joined the Force in 2003.
He returned to work in general duties at Liverpool as a Probationary Constable but it wasn't long before he was promoted to Sergeant at Wollongong where he worked until 2008.
It's one of the best jobs I've ever had in the Police Force.Superintendent Chris Taylor on his role as District Commander of the Central West Police District
"Things change all the time in the Police Force, especially these days," Superintendent Taylor said.
"I was 53 years old when I returned and had to [re-train]... I hadn't done general duties for 30 years because I had been in the Water Police," he laughed.
Superintendent Taylor was promoted to the rank of Inspector in 2008 and took up the position of Duty Officer at Walgett, where he and Roslyn immensely enjoyed being.
He was promoted to his current rank in April 2013 when he took up the position of Local Area Commander for the Lachlan LAC, based at Parkes.
And he commanded the Lachlan LAC until 2018 when it merged with Canobolas LAC during the re-engineering of the NSW Police Force.
Superintendent Taylor was appointed District Commander of the Central West Police District in March 2018.
"That's been another challenge but the last seven years I've really enjoyed the job," he said.
"It's one of the best jobs I've ever had in the Police Force and at the lunch [last week] I told them you should all aspire to this because I've thoroughly enjoyed it.
"I'm going to enjoy retirement but I haven't retired because I'm fed up with the job.
"It is a stressful job but I was lucky, I had an excellent senior management team who really took on their roles.
"They do a great job and they are part of the success ... this Command punches above its weight."
During the course of his career, Superintendent Taylor received numerous awards, including the NSW Police Medal (and seven clasps), the National Medal (and two clasps), as well as the National Police Service Medal.
He was the recipient of the Mervyn Finlay Trophy in 1968 and received multiple commendations including from the Royal Humane Society relating to various incidents including sea rescues.
Superintendent Taylor and Roslyn, who have six children between them, are now looking forward to spending more time together and with their family.
And as a last hurrah, Superintendent Taylor has been given the opportunity to march at the NSW Police Force Academy's attestation parade in Goulburn on April 24, four days before his 70th birthday.
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