Sergeant Sean Phillips has been farewelled after 33 years in the NSW Police Force.
Sgt Phillips was officially piped from the Nowra Police Station and given the salute by his fellow officers as a farewell and mark of respect on Thursday, July 23.
A large contingent of friends and former colleagues also attended the farewell including his "first boss", former Chief Inspector Eric Edgecombe, where Sgt Phillips started in the force at Cootamundra in 1987
Sgt Phillips, who spent the last two years of his service in Nowra and the three years previously in Ulladulla, is well-known on the South Coast district.
His career started in Cootamundra in '87, and during his 33 years has also been stationed at Warilla, Stockinbingal near Cootamundra, Batlow, Lake Illawarra, the Police Academy in Goulburn, Ulladulla and then Nowra.
He admits to having an affinity with the county areas.
"We just love it," he said of he and his wife Julia.
"One of the pinnacles was my time in the south west. We made a lot of friends out there, many who are here today," he said.
"We've loved living and serving in the country areas.
"And south-west NSW is a beautiful area."
He said his career had been "a bit of a blur".
An emotional Sgt Phillips said it was an honour to be piped out of the station and acknowledged by salutes by his fellow colleagues
"That was special," he said.
"I'm pretty honoured."
While general duties have primarily been his role, he has also undertaken SPSU (regional support to the Tactical Support Group), weapons and snow rescue.
"Not much call for that (snow patrol) around here on the coast," he joked.
And while there wasn't one single highlight, he said he made some great friendships along the way and served with some wonderful colleagues.
"Great friendships," he said.
"The job has afforded me the opportunity to travel throughout the state, interstate and overseas on behalf of the police force.
"The memories are just too many.
"The police is a big family that's for sure and I will miss it."
Sgt Phillips is in the unusual position of also being a member of the Army Reserve which he has juggled with his policing duties for the past 25 years.
"They actually worked well together," he said "the cops were fine with me being in the Army Reserves and were good for me to go and do my service."
In that role he also undertook a deployment to Afghanistan in 2008 with the Australian Reconstruction Task Force - Rotation 4 (RTF), as an engineer in the joint operation.
"I was pretty lucky, not many reservists actually deployed," he said.
In a strange twist of fate, his Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), was the son-in-law of his first boss, Chief Inspector Edgecombe.
Sgt Phillips' service for both organisations has been recognised, with numerous honours, including the World Humane Medal, Commission's Valour with bar, NSW Ethical and Diligent Service Medal, the Canberra Fires Medal, Commendation for brave conduct, Australian Active Service Medal, Afghanistan Medal, Police Long Service Medal, Army Long Service Medal, Army Defence Medal and NATO Serial 6 Afghanistan Medal.
As with anyone who works in any form of service, family support is vital and Sgt Phillips says he's had the wonderful support of a strong family.
"Julia is my rock," he said. "And along with the kids have been a great support.
"Policing is a family thing, you need that support. They have as many rough times and bad times as we do."
As for retirement, he will spend time with his family, tending a property on the Highlands and enjoying more time at the beach near his home at Mollymook.
"Restoring a couple of old cars is also on the agenda," he said.
And of course, he will also remain active with the Army Reserve.