ON HIS very first operational shift, a fresh-faced 18-year-old Gavin McLucas was faced with the reality of his new job.
"I was a new constable, on the Gold Coast,” he said.
"There was a young bloke who'd been hooning around in his Suzuki Sierra soft-top and rolled it.
"On scene, we discovered the crash had killed his passenger, his girlfriend.”
Senior Constable McLucas said it all kicked in then and there.
"These were kids, the same age as me,” he said.
"I had to crouch down next to the car to shield the couple from the media who had arrived on scene and it sent chills up my spine.
"I realised then how real this all was and it's always stuck with me.”
Mr McLucas said police officers needed to have a thick skin and a kind ear.
"Compassion and empathy is very important, as well as being able to communicate and listen well,” he said.
Warwick police officers will be in attendance today at the Emergency Services Day at Warwick Fire Station between 9am and midday.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.