Bombing and police murder: Rocky officer's record career
APPLAUSE and bagpipes echoed blocks away as Rockhampton Police said goodbye to one of it's longest serving officers, Senior Sergeant Michael Powell.
On his 60th birthday, Snr Sgt Powell walked through the doors of the Bolsover St station for the last time to the faces of more than 50 officers, family and friends, all farewelling his 43 years of service suitably.
The former officer in charge at Rockhampton's Scenes of Crime division has helped solve some of the region's most high-profile crimes, but admitted it was time to hang up his hat.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this job but I knew it was time to go, and I'm happy to," he said.
Snr Sgt Powell reflected on some of the major changes he witnessed in the industry saying technology made his job easier since starting in forensics in 1979.
"We used to develop all of our film in darkrooms and it would take weeks to get fingerprint results," he said.
"Now with a lot of electronic changes, analysing evidence can be almost instantaneous in some cases."
Despite helping solve crimes like a Rockhampton police officer murder and the Factory Nightclub bombing , Snr Sgt Powell said it was the day-to-day jobs that were his favourite.
"Being able to help people who have been effected by a break-in and hear their stories are important," he said.
Even on his last day, the unsolved crimes stuck in Snr Sgt Powell's mind, and he said he had already made attempts to ensure they didn't stay like that.
Amongst the pressures that came with his job, he said family support got him through.
"I'll miss the routine and walking to work everyday with my wife and dog," he said.
On Friday, Snr Sgt Powell handed over his cap to Jeff Harding and a fully-equipped team of staff behind him.
He was looking forward to being "a man of leisure" and able to go fishing whenever he wanted.
With the start of barra season beginning on Thursday, Snr Sgt Powell said his passion for fishing would thrive.
"I certainly won't be twiddling my thumbs," he said.