After 38 years service to the New South Wales Police Force, Coffs Harbour Police Station Executive Officer Prue Trethowan has retired.
After 38 years service to the New South Wales Police Force, Coffs Harbour Police Station Executive Officer Prue Trethowan has retired. Frank Redward

Saluted for 38 years' service

THE guard of honour on her final day showed  the difference Prue Trethowan has made to the NSW Police Force across her 38 years of service.

For the past three decades, Ms Trethowan, has been based out of the Coffs Harbour Police Station, spending 22 years as the station's executive officer.

"It's a surreal feeling to arrive at the day that I planned a couple of years ago, quietly or not so quietly counting down the number of passwords I had to go until retirement and now it's here," Ms Trethowan said. 

"There has been many memorable incidents, people, colleagues, and challenging times, but what I have enjoyed the most is the fun times and laughs that were able to be had along the way in a work environment that is generally busy, demanding and often challenging.

Prue said Coffs Harbour Police Station looked very different when she started on shift in January, 1988.
For instance, she said there was still a lock-up keeper attached to the station, and soon after Coffs Harbour became a 24-hour station.  

"The Nambucca Valley stations of Nambucca Heads, Macksville and Bowraville were part of the Coffs Harbour Division which only went as far north as Woolgoolga," she said. 

"The admin team comprised of just me and a stenographer.

"There were about six detectives and the same number of highway patrol officers, two parking patrol officers, a scientific officer and fingerprint expert, and a lone prosecutor.

"The station switchboard was the old manual plug-in cord type, manual typewriters were the norm, carbon paper and whiteout were your friend.
In the revolving door that can be a country police station, Prue said she has made many great friendships in working behind frontline officers.

After 38 years service to the New South Wales Police Force, Coffs Harbour Police Station Executive Officer Prue Trethowan has retired.
After 38 years service to the New South Wales Police Force, Coffs Harbour Police Station Executive Officer Prue Trethowan has retired. Frank Redward

"I have been privileged to work with many great commanders, all with different styles, but always wanting the best for Coffs Clarence.

"I believe we work in the best region in the best command due to the collective efforts of everyone from the Commander to the most junior officer. I am and always will be proud to say I worked in the Coffs Clarence.

"Thank you to everyone for being part of my journey and for making our workplace and Command a nice place to come to work each day.

"A big thank you to Rowena and the admin team, the engine room of the station, for all you support over the years.

"It's a very busy and demanding part of the command but you all band together to get the job done.



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