The end of an era for Coffs/Clarence police
AFTER four decades of service, former Coffs/Clarence Superintendent Mark Holahan has hung up the navy blue hat.
Mr Holahan, who held the helm as Commander from the late '90s, was farewelled by his colleagues in a walkout ceremony held at Coffs Harbour Police Station today.
"When I sit back and reflect upon it I often wonder why some people can do 40 years and some struggle, and I have no answer to that," he said.
"All I can say is that I enjoyed everyday of my policing career - almost everyday. Some days were a struggle.
"I think about some of those jobs we've all been to, how we enter into people's lives when they're at their most vulnerable and they need a shoulder to cry on.
"This job is about what we do as a team, and how we as a team can make our community feel safe and secure. That's all that matters."
Mr Holahan was recently listed in The Advocate's 'Most Influential' list for the extraordinary changes he had overseen during his long tenure as Superintendent.
Falling crime rates, the opening of the new Justice Centre, new proactive policing strategies and the strengthening of relationships with neighbouring commands are just some of his achievements.
In his departing message Mr Holahan said he hoped the recent boost in police numbers announced by the NSW Government might help alleviate the hardships faced by his colleagues.
"For the years I was commander at Coffs/Clarence it was a challenging time, but we got through.
"(The numbers) still don't change the workloads, it still doesn't change the pressure police are under, but it makes it a little bit better from where we started."
Watched on by friends and family, Mr Holahan embraced and officially passed on the baton to Superintendent Steve Clarke.
"This place has been run exceptionally well for an exceptionally long period of time - long before I got here," Supt Steve Clarke said.
"It's a very difficult job and it takes a very special person, like this man here, to run this place."