Wembley police officer Ian Anderson signs off after 40 years on the force

Sergeant Anderson is ready for the future on his last day before retirement.
Sergeant Anderson is ready for the future on his last day before retirement.

RETIRING WA Police Sergeant Ian Anderson (60) has a message for anyone thinking of joining the force.

“If you dedicate yourself to service it can be very rewarding, like when you get letters from elderly people you’ve helped thanking you,” the 40-year veteran of the job said on his last day at Wembley police station yesterday.

“Although the incident may have been minor, it is satisfying for you and shows the role of care between the police and the community.”

Sergeant Anderson said he joined the police “to get a stable job” after completing a mechanic’s apprenticeship in 1978.

His career took him to role in general duties, traffic and a year with a specialist unit.

“The highlights were the people I worked with and the personalities, the comradeship with other officers,” he said.

He has particular fondness for his time in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern, including commanding stations in Cunderdin and Wyalkatchem.

“The country was good because of the liaison with people in the farming communities, where those people are very good to deal with and are co-operative.”

While some aspects of the job have changed over the four decades, some issues remain, including domestic violence and road deaths.

“While driver behaviour has improved a bit, speed and not managing driver fatigue remains, ” Sgt Anderson said.

New legislation allowed police to deal with domestic violence.

Between attending extreme incidents including fatal traffic crashes and murders, Sgt Anderson said there had been humorous moments, including a search warrant at a house when officers were looking for stolen alcohol in Katanning.

“They were all affected by alcohol and one guy was trying to light a cigarette, but he set alight to his beard,” Sgt Anderson said.

He now plans a short break, including playing “lots” of golf and finishing jobs at home, before some part-time work.