Top dog squad cop retires after 44 years
IT IS the end of an era for Sergeant William (Bill) Applebee as he hangs up his uniform for the final time and retires from the Queensland Police Service.
Sgt Applebee joined QPS when he was 15 and retired today on his 60th birthday after over 44 years of service.
He was the longest-serving member of the dog squad in QPS history and retired as officer in charge of the Bundaberg dog squad.
As all QPS officers must retire at 60, Sgt Applebee was officially piped out while his colleagues clapped and the bagpipes played.
Sgt Applebee said if he could continue to serve the community he would.
"If I could go on I would but all good things have to come to an end sooner or later," Sgt Applebee said.
"I am a little bit emotional because after all these years it's time to go."
Sgt Applebee had many high-profile cases over his career but said the highlight was helping the people of Queensland every day.
"There are exciting times, times that make you sad and times you wish you didn't have to be a part of it, but it is all part of the job," he said.
"I have loved the mateship and fellowship I have had with other people within the police."
Sgt Applebee joined the dog squad in 1982 and said it would be hard to leave the dog squad days behind him.
"I am going to miss the police dogs the most," he said.
"I love working with them, tracking, searching and the close relationship that I have had with them.
"I have had seven dogs over the years and I have missed every one of them."
Sgt Applebee said at home he had a chihuahua foxie cross named Sasha which was different to the dogs he worked with.
"I love her to death and she's the apple of my eye at the moment and totally different from the big shepherds."
He said his retirement plan was to start travelling but that was put on hold until COVID-19 settled down.