AFTER nearly seven years as the officer-in-charge of Miles Police Station, Sergeant Ben Wiltshire clocked off for the last time on Friday.
In a period of huge change for Miles and the Western Downs, Sgt Wiltshire has witnessed a lot.
"There's been a lot of changes. When I got here it was before the oil and gas (boom) and it was just a quiet, country town in a lot of respects,” he said.
"And then we went through the gas boom and... all the busyness that went with it and issues associated with (that).”
The sergeant's last shift also marked the end of 25 years as an operational policeman, with him accepting a promotion at a regional level in Rockhampton.
"I've always been operational, always on the frontline, so this will be my first step away from that,” Sgt. Wiltshire said.
"I love being a policeman, it's a lot of fun. It's very different day-to-day... (and) frontline policing... has always been where I wanted to be.”
Sgt Wiltshire was able to end nearly seven years in town on an especially high note too - with the Miles community and police teaming up to catch a suspect, as reported in last week's Chinchilla News.
"It's only occasionally you see how the community work with us so clearly like that, but it does happen all the time. The Miles community is fantastic at working with us. We can't do our job without them.
"The people in this town really care about the town. That's something that I'm going to miss.”
Besides maintaining a strong connection between police and locals, Sgt Wiltshire hopes he'll leave a legacy in one other regard: fairness.
"Hopefully the influence I've had on the whole team (at the Miles Police Station) has been that... aspect that it doesn't matter who you're dealing with, you're always straight down the line and fair.
"If you're arrested or do something that requires us to take action, people won't be happy with the result but my hope is that they can step back later on and say, 'okay, they were fair. I didn't like what happened but it wasn't done with a grudge, it wasn't done personally'.”
A farewell party will be held for Sgt Wiltshire at the Miles Bowls Club on January 27 at 4.30pm. RSVP to the Miles Police Station before January 24 on 46271222.
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