Ararat Police’s Leading Senior Constable Mark Stevens has been protecting the Ararat community for 33 years, the state for 37. He has worked during a time of change for police and faced situations many fear.
This Wednesday Stevens will hand in his badge and retire from the force, at what he calls the right time.
“I’m still making a difference but I’m not going beyond that. I’m not getting the enjoyment out of doing it like I was,” Stevens said.
“I want to get out before I’m crippled so I can do all the travelling that I’ve never been able to do over the years because we’ve had the one wage and I had a big family, so all the money [went] elsewhere.”
“There’s a lot of muddled stuff in (my head) at the moment. A lot of issues, inside and outside the job I’m dealing with over the last couple of weeks… I’ve got to get all this stuff out.”
He has faced many scary situations during his 37-year policing career, beginning his journey in “seedy” South Melbourne which gave him the mental strength to deal with his job in regional Victoria.
“One time back in ’91 I think, I had a mentally ill person come at me with a knife. That was a bit scary – I had a bit of time off work after that,” he shared.
“That’s one time I’ve had my gun out. I haven’t used it, I haven’t shot at a person but I’ve had it out a couple of times – I’ve been pretty close to the edge a couple of times.”
Stevens believes that there aren’t any justified reasons for breaking laws as he displayed personally when making a decision that impacted him deeply.
“My wife actually yelled at me when my father was dying. We got a call, and he was in Geelong. We got in the car and the wife said, ‘Why aren’t you speeding?’ I said, ‘Well I can’t, I just can’t do it… Dad will be there.'”
“I missed him by 15 minutes. But at the end of the day, you can’t do it. You can’t justify going too fast.”
Stevens is planning on continuing to work a couple of days a week, perhaps driving trucks or buses, but initially looks forward to some well-earned rest with his wife and the purchase of a Harley-Davidson.
WATCH OUR INTERVIEW WITH LOCAL LEGEND MARK STEVENS BELOW.
-Producer & Anchor
-Founder of AC News in 2017