Today, members of the Brisbane Dog Squad said goodbye to one of their finest administration officers, Stephen Palmer.
‘Chirpy’ as he’s known around the place, left the dog squad for the final time after 20 years of service to the QPS.
He was piped out by a member of the QPS Pipes and Drums band to the tune of Waltzing Matilda.
Dog Squad colleagues accompanied by their dogs as well as friends and family formed a guard of honour outside of the Oxley premises to farewell Chirpy.
Chirpy started his career at the Dog Squad back in 1995 after completing 20 years of service with the Australian Army where he worked with army dogs.
“I left the Army on a Friday afternoon and the next Monday I started here at the Dog Squad,” Chirpy said.
During the past 20 years Chirpy has seen countless transformative changes across the QPS, particularly in the dog squad.
“When I began here things were at a very primitive level but now we’re the leaders and other states come to us,” Chirpy said.
Officer in Charge of Brisbane Dog Squad Inspector Paul Austin said Chirpy was a valuable member of the QPS and will be missed by all.
“He’s been a great support and an excellent worker who will be very missed by everyone here at the Dog Squad,” Inspector Austin said.
Chirpy said he has thoroughly enjoyed his years of service with the QPS but is looking forward to retirement and spending time with family and continuing his volunteer work.
“I’ve enjoyed all of it,” he said.
“I’ve seen many changes over the years and there’s been ups and downs like in any job but we’ve achieved a lot over the years and we’re in the right place now and the boys are going to keep on moving up from here.
“I’m sixty-six now so I’m very much looking forward to my retirement and spending more time on my volunteer work.”
Chirpy, a survivor of prostate cancer is now devoted to helping raise awareness in men to receive regular check-ups at the doctor, volunteering with the Prostate Awareness Council.
“Increasing awareness in men that they need to look after themselves and to be wary of that dark cloud.”