Senior Constable Howard Jones has been recognised by senior members of the NSW Police Force for upward of four decades of service with the NSW Police Force.
Colleagues, family and friends of Snr Const Jones gathered at Tingha Police Station for a guard of honour to mark the end of his 41-year career on Wednesday.
Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie APM, and New England Police District Commander, Acting Superintendent Rowan O'Brien, acknowledged S/Cst Jones' dedication to service.
"The commitment and dedication required to do the job for any length of time is significant, but to be able to perform the role for this long is just a really fantastic achievement and certainly shows Senior Constable Jones' level of resilience," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie APM said.
"We wish Snr Const. Jones all the best for his future in retirement."
Snr Const. Jones' career with the NSW Police Force began in January 1980 as a 25-year-old trainee at the Police Academy.
He was stationed at Metropolitan Police Area as a Probationary Constable in general duties until 1982, when he was transferred to Tingha Police Station in the Central North Police District.
After serving the Tingha community for two years, Snr Const.Jones transferred to Gravesend and stayed for three years.
He then transferred to Inverell in 1987 where he performed duty as lock-up keeper. Snr Const. Jones was the last lock-up keeper at Inverell which commenced operating as a 24-hour station in December 1988.
It was at Inverell on general duty in 1995 he embarked on a newfound passion of teaching skills to up and coming Probationary Constables at the Goulburn Police Academy.
"The highlight of my career was the six and a half years I spent teaching at the Academy in Goulburn," he said.
"I was a weapons instructor there and it was a real pleasure to see the students ending up with the skills they had by the time they were attested.
"Most of them had no such skill when they started, yet they were ready to start working on the street when we were finished with them - it was quite satisfying.
"During my time about 3500 students would have gone through the academy, it was a pleasure to have assisted so many students to start their career."
Snr Const. Jones was then stationed at Holroyd and Tooraweenah between 2004 and 2015, before returning to Tingha in 2015 where he has been stationed ever since.
Over the years he has received numerous commendations including the National Medal in 1995, Deputy Commissioner of Police Commendation, 2nd Clasp to NSW Police Medal, 1st Clasp to NSW Police Medal, 3rd Clasp to NSW Police Medal, Commissioner of Police Sesquicentenary Citation, National Police Service Medal, and 4th Clasp to NSW Police Medal.
Snr Const. jones also played a role in Blue Light Discos at Tingha, Warialda and Inverell; and was heavily involved in the Community Aid Panel established to divert young people from the court system at Inverell.
"I was a single man when I first came to Tingha where I met my wife and I think marrying her has endeared me to the community - it holds a special place in my heart," he said.
Snr Const. Jones now looks forward to retirement.
"I'm 66 now and it's a young man's game - I'm surprised I lasted so long really," he laughed.
"I'm looking forward to retirement and will move to Toowoomba and see how we enjoy the place.
"It was certainly a career that I am proud of."