Sergeant Brady bids farewell
SERGEANT Gerard Brady is leaving town and moving on up in the police force but after working the beat in Chinchilla for more than five years, he still thinks it's a great place to be.
"Crime happens everywhere in the state and around the country, but Chinchilla is still a great place to live. I think we need to watch we don't get absorbed in the perceived crime and issues that this town is having...we have to be very careful not to drown in that negativity, we need to get rid of it so we can start moving forward as a community,” he said.
Sgt Brady finished his post as Officer in Charge of Chinchilla Police Station this week and is bound for Stanthorpe, where he will take up the position of OIC Senior Sergeant at the end of May.
"It's the next rank up from here; it was an opportunity that arose, so I applied for the position because it was a promotion,” he said.
Reflecting on his time in Chinchilla, Sgt Brady said much had changed in town since he relocated here with his wife and young children more than five years ago and that he will miss the people and community spirit.
"I've had an absolute ball here; the town's been great, there is that many organisations here that continue to push for the town.
"Having those good relationships is something I will miss the most...Chinchilla is unique in those sorts of things, it has such active groups and good relationships within them.
"In retrospect, even the people I've had to charge or lock up, I still get along with most of those people - I'll speak to them if I see them in the street. That's why I love country policing - you have to live in the community and you have to draw that line, it's a really interesting dynamic at times.
"I can rattle off a number of people I've had to charge but will still stop on the street and say G'day to. At the end of the day it is a job but when I'm not working I am also a part of the community.
Sgt Brady said he is leaving a much different town to the one he arrived in, with the gas boom significantly shifting Chinchilla's social and economic fabric.
"I've seen Chinchilla go through the gas boom - a change in demographic and then it come full circle again, it's now ended and we've come back to a totally new demographic. It's certainly provided some unique policing challenges in the town,” he said.
"It happened over a particularly quick period of time so we had to be able to respond.
"Looking back the biggest challenge has been taking Chinchilla from a small country town to what it is now...It happened so quickly and it had such far reaching political, economic and social ramifications.
"The issues that affect the community also affect me...when at work they are policing issues, but at the end of the day when I go home they're are affecting the same community I live in. It motivates me to do the best I can to address them.”