"I found it very interesting how the people coped with Cyclone Marcia”
HE received a special police medal for his role in helping the community post Cyclone Marcia, but the Officer-In-Charge of the Yeppoon police station feels it was the community that responded well.
Senior Sergeant Robert (Bob) Barclay was awarded the Queensland Police Meritorious Service Medal, along with his 40-year clasp, at the regional Queensland Police Awards today.
"I found it very interesting how the people coped with Cyclone Marcia. They really got together and they did cope, which was good,” Snr Sgt Barclay said.
"There was a lot of damage, but people seemed to just get on with their life.
"We assisted with the SES ... I suppose you dealt with their hardship and all that. Some people were stuck in houses and couldn't get out for a few days.
"A lot of them didn't complain. They just moved along.”
Community appears to be a key word for Snr Sgt Barclay.
"I like the community. It never stops.”
He is even a committee member on the Capricorn Coast Community Events Association which organises events such as Australia Day and Carols by the Sea.
While policing today is about the community - making it safe, looking out for people, preserving life - Snr Sgt Barclay said that wasn't the case 40 years ago.
"It was straight out enforcing the law,” he said.
"There's been a lot of changes. I think we are still changing different things. Legislation has changed since I started. We used to have the Traffic Act and all that. Vagrants, Gaming and Other Offences (Act 1931). That's all gone.
"It's something that you've got to police and something that you've got to keep up with too.
"Years ago, it was just straight out legislation. When I went through the academy, you had to learn all your legislation” .
He said now, officers have access to computers to look it up and check.
He described time at the academy when he went through as 'paramilitary'.
Other changes Snr Sgt Barclay noted included the name of the police organisation from the Queensland Police Force and now it is the Queensland Police Service - and the Yeppoon police station building.
"When I got there in 2007 we had a pretty compact station. In 2008 we stayed in demountables and used those as a station and then we moved back into the brand new station.”