Officer signs off on four-decade career
"THE reason I joined the police was to lock up crooks and to make the community safer.”
It was 40 years ago when a young Erwin Hoffman walked into the police service with a passion to fight crime, protect and serve.
Now, at 60 years of age as he hangs up his hat for good, the senior sergeant said he hoped the young police men and women of today were joining the service for the same reason.
Officers from the Bundaberg Policing Unit gathered at the station yesterday to bid the long-serving officer farewell.
Snr Sgt Hoffman said the emotional event had him reflecting back on "a lifetime of memories” made in the service.
"It feels a little bit surreal actually,” he said.
"Forty years is a long time to be in policing and I have certainly worked with a lot of really good people.
Snr Sgt Hoffman has called Bundaberg home for the last 24 years, serving 17 of those as officer in charge.
He said, overall, the region was a great one to live and work in.
"About 99.99% of the people are good, law-abiding citizens,” he said.
"We seem to deal with the 0.1% of people all the time.
"I have been to some pretty horrific jobs - crashes, murder scenes.”
Snr Sgt Hoffman said in his four decades as an officer, he had seen many changes in policing, the biggest of those being technology.
"We never had Facebook, digital cameras or computers back in the day,” he said.
"To test the person's alcohol limit we would make them walk a line.
"The advancement in technology has been huge.”
As he prepared for a relaxing retirement, Snr Sgt Hoffman said he would miss his days at the Bundaberg station, and also the people he has met along the way.
"You spend the best part of your life with these people,” he said.
Wide Bay Burnett District Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford said Snr Sgt Hoffman was a very popular and well-respected officer in charge who would be sorely missed.
"He is a role model for younger officers,” he said.
"He has done just about everything you can do in the police and is a very good leader and management supervisor and sets a very high, professional example to others.
"To him and his wife, 40 years of service is fantastic, we wish them all the best for the future and may he live a long and healthy life.”