ONE of Cabramatta's most respected and dedicated officers, Chief Inspector Robert (Bob) O'Connor, will hang up his badge tomorrow when he retires from NSW Police after 41 years of service.
The 57-year-old spent nearly eight years as the duty officer at the command, taking on operational responsibilities and managing major incidents including the light plane crash in Canley Vale four years ago.
The father-of-two began his policing career as a cadet on February 5, 1973 when he was just 16.
He was sworn in as a probationary constable three years later on his 19th birthday.
He was assigned to Blacktown local area command and stayed there until August 1977 before moving to Highway Patrol, where he stayed for 14 years - serving at two country stations and several metropolitan stations.
During Mr O'Connor's time as a highway patrol officer, he dedicated 6½ years working part-time with Police Rescue.
In September 1991, Mr O'Connor moved to the Penrith command and was promoted to sergeant in 1995.
"I then came to the south-west region, serving at Campbelltown and then Green Valley — that's where I was promoted to Chief Inspector and worked as a duty officer until November 2006."
It was in that month when he transferred to Cabramatta.
He said while the job was demanding, there had been plenty of highs and lows.
"One of the really low points was when I was called out to an accident on the Hume Highway and a four-year-old boy had been run over by a semi-trailer," he said.
One rewarding moment was pulling over a speeding driver to find the man's wife in labour.
"Half-an-hour after we took her to the hospital, she delivered a healthy baby boy."
Tomorrow will be Mr O’Connor’s last day at the station.
His colleagues will hold a barbecue lunch to farewell him.