OFF THE BEAT: Senior Sergeant Mark Courtney retired after 19 years as officer in charge at Yamanto and a police career spanning 42 years.
OFF THE BEAT: Senior Sergeant Mark Courtney retired after 19 years as officer in charge at Yamanto and a police career spanning 42 years. Cordell Richardson

Double celebration as veteran cop signs off

DESPITE racking up 41 years in the Queensland Police Service, retiring Yamanto officer in charge Senior Sergeant Mark Courtney still credits childhood lessons for helping him survive the job.

Fellow staff at Yamanto set up a guard of honour for Snr Sgt Courtney, who had something of a double celebration yesterday as he marked his own 60th birthday and his last day on the job.

Snr Sgt Courtney was the founding OIC at Yamanto police station in 2000.

"This came as a complete surprise," he said after walking the guard of honour and enjoying a lap of Warwick Rd in the police ATV.

"We had time to ensure we were ready and I am more than happy to leave, knowing that the place will be in good hands."

 

Senior Sergeant Mark Courtney retired after 19 years as officer in charge at Yamanto and a police career spanning 42 years.
Senior Sergeant Mark Courtney retired after 19 years as officer in charge at Yamanto and a police career spanning 42 years. Cordell Richardson

Snr Sgt Courtney's career began in January, 1977, although he was officially sworn in July 1978.

His was posted in Rockhampton and then Brisbane before taking up country postings in Killarney, Dimbulah and Charters Towers. Despite Ipswich's massive population growth bringing challenges, Snr Sgt Courtney noted it as one of the positives of his career.

"Within our police division I started here with a population of 15,000 people. It is now up to 35,000 and will be more than 100,000 by the time the growth is finished," he said.

"We have had to adapt to a lot of change but I had good parents who gave me the skills to adapt."

The retiree said he was looking forward to enjoying more time with his eight grandchildren and travelling.