Standing in line with 109 of his classmates in Goulburn, June 1986, to be attested into the NSW Police Force was the proudest moment of Detective Sergeant Damian Loone's career.
From then, to walking down Inverell Police Station's new driveway flanked by uniformed and non-uniformed personnel, he marked his last day after more than thirty decades on the force.
Well-known for his involvement in the cold case of Cheryl Grimmer and his part in the investigation of Lyn Dawson's disappearance, the Detective looks back on his career as a man in blue, proud of his part in serving and protecting the community.
Friday was his last day, and while filled with the anticipation of starting the next phase of life - including joining more sporting teams in the Sapphire City - he said it was also a "very sad day".
"Today is a sad day leaving this job," he told the Times after his salute.
"I've loved serving the community, but I am starting a new chapter in my life now and I'm looking forward to that part too."
It all begun with his attestation, stemming from his community mindedness which he said was always a motivating factor.
"It was three months of hard work, so much hard work to get past the bar to attest as a constable in the police, and I managed to do that - it was a wonderful feeling," he said.
"I've always had a community spirit about helping others, and I thought this would be the best way to do it."
He started as a general duties officer at Sydney's Central Police Station, before transferring to Bourke in 1987.
He's then had stints at Coffs Harbour, Ultimo, King's Cross and Cootamundra among others, finishing off with his move to Inverell in 2018.
The promotion to Detective Sergeant came during his time in the City Central Target Action Group in March, 2003.
He then worked in the Trans Metro Robbery Unit in 2004, the Redfern target action group in 2005, as a detective in the Rocks Police Station in 2007, before he was transferred on secondment to the Australian Federal Police and worked as an investigator at Sydney airport.
The dedicated officer racked up the Commissioner's Commendation, the National Police Service medal, the National Medal and third clasp, the NSW Police Medal and the fourth clasp, the G20 Citation, the 2000 Olympic Citation, the Commissioner of Police citation, and numerous other "citations and complimentary remarks".
His career has left him with moments that will stay with him forever, moments that makes him feel he's "made a difference somewhere out there along the line".
His involvement in some high profile investigations, such as the Lynette Dawson disappearance, and the unsolved homicide of Cheryl Grimmer, are up there with the best of them.
"I charged a man after 49 years being a cold case. That was a highlight," he said of the Grimmer investigation.
Other highlights include assisting in the bushfires, helping out people in the Shoalhaven area in 2001 where he received a Commissioner's Commendation.
More recently, and closer to home, he assisted in the Wytaliba bushfires as well.
"I was involved in the investigation, and then helping others to be safe in that area and assisting with development applications and plans and giving them advice and tips in how to be safe in a bushfire zone."
If there was one thing he would say to his younger self, it would be prepared for "all the highs and lows".
"It is a challenging career - but it is a very rewarding career. There are highs and lows, but there is nothing better than to serve the public and make the community safe," he said.
"Every day when I go to work, I put a firearm on. And I know that if there was something bad to happen, then I am there to help.
"To the community of Inverell: thank you. Thank you for encompassing me and welcoming me into this lovely community, and I intend to be involved in some sports here and in the community in the years to come."
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