Eight former South West Police personnel have come together to reflect on changing times and old stomping grounds.
John Cooper, Tim Wright, Bill Mose, Allen Mitchell, Roy Scott, Jack McTaggart, Colin Mitchell and Gordon Stephens recently reunited at the Lord Forrest Hotel for the first time in more than 40 years.
The group talked about their memories of the old Bunbury Police Station.
“Seeing people I haven’t seen for 40 years, or even possibly longer, was a pretty good experience,” Mr Scott said.
The station was first built in 1852 and was demolished in 1968, making way for a new station premises situated behind the old one.
The aforementioned eight were the last policemen to work in the old station.
At that time, the policemen protected Bunbury along with surrounding areas including Eaton, Australind, Ferguson Valley, and Burekup.
The roster worked in three shifts per day, making sure the station would remain open 24/7.
Shifts regularly featured one sergeant and two constables, assigned to protect the Greater Bunbury area.
Two detectives were assigned to cover the entire South West.
Duties included foot patrols through Bunbury’s CBD to ensure all of Bunbury’s pubs were closed after midnight.
Along with the office area, the premises included a jail – built to fit “half a dozen” people – with an exercise yard and a kitchen.
The cells would hold prisoners due to be transferred to Fremantle Prison.
Mr Scott, serving in Bunbury from 1967 to 1972, was a uniformed policeman for two years prior to the station’s demolition.
He then came back as a Detective Sergeant in 1979 and has lived in Bunbury permanently since 1983.
Mr Mitchell came to Bunbury in 1967 and, at 21, was the youngest uniformed policeman in the station at the time.
“It was a very close-knit group of people, very diverse with the work,” he said.
“We did everything from driver’s licences to firearm licences, lots of things they don’t do now.
“You could drive around after midnight and the town was pretty much asleep.”