Long-serving policeman retires

Sergeant Jim Kelly retires after 35.
Sergeant Jim Kelly retires after 35.

ALPHA'S long-standing policeman Sergeant Jim Kelly said goodbye to the region on Saturday night, at a farewell attended by more than 200 people.

He finished his last shift on Friday and he and his wife Ailsa are now embarking on a much-needed break before his retirement on the coast.

"(We're taking off) before we get into the house and make it our new home," Sergeant Kelly said.

He said his last day on the job was nothing out of the ordinary, as he went to work at the Alpha Police Station, just as he had for the past 17 years.

He started his career in the police force in 1977 and spent 17 of his 35 years service in Alpha.

"After that long, I'll miss it, but I needed to do something different I suppose," Sgt Kelly said of ending his career.

"We'll miss our friends too, but we're looking forward to the next chapter in our lives."

Sgt Kelly said his farewell was "excellent" and he hadn't expected so many people to turn up.

"I just didn't get a chance to see everyone," Sgt Kelly said.

Inspector Mick Keys, who worked with Sgt Kelly, said the farewell was wonderful.

"He's been the ultimate as far as country police officers in charge," he said.

"Certainly he was relied on heavily by the community," he said of Kelly's role in Alpha and the surrounding regions.

"He and Ailsa have brought up their three children in Alpha.

"He took a lot of pride in the community in which he lived for many years."

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