Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam retires after 32 years

Farewell: Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam outside Fairfield Police Station. Picture: Chris Lane
Farewell: Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam outside Fairfield Police Station. Picture: Chris Lane

Every police officers journey to the blue uniform is different. Unique. Almost, as varied as life on the beat on a daily basis.

For Fairfield City Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam, his journey started with a false start.

"I always wanted to become a police officer. They had the police cadets but they changed the system just before I left school," he said.

"So I'm an electrician by trade. I worked in the coal mines for two years, I was a garbo for a year and went to the academy on January 3, 1987 when I was 26."

Day No.1 on the job for Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam.

Day No.1 on the job for Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam.

Almost 32 years later and Detective Chief Inspector Adam is preparing for his final day in the blue uniform. On March 21 he will march out of Cabramatta Police Station for the final time with mixed emotions.

In a sliding doors moment his son Riley is due to graduate from the police academy in August.

"I will be marching out and he will be marching in," he said.

"It's a funny feeling. One day I will be a Detective Chief Inspector, the next day I will be John Citizen.

"I have really enjoyed my time in Cabramatta. The Vietnamese community are fantastic and are very friendly and engaging. Young, old, male or female they used to say hello to me in the street."

Detective Chief Inspector Adam has spent the final nine years of his career in Cabramatta and Fairfield.

It's a career that began in "very busy" Maroubra, before stints in Mascot, the airport, Redfern and Surry Hills.

He spent five years at Redfern as a detective dealing with lots of serious and violent crimes including robberies, sexual assaults, and murders and still to this day keeps in contacts with some of the victims. 

Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam's first ID card.

Detective Chief Inspector Robert Adam's first ID card.

He was promoted to Sergeant at Surry Hills where he spent nine years in which time he broke his leg which led to arthritis in the knee and reduced function of the leg.

He joined the Cabramatta ranks in 2010 and moved to Fairfield in 2017 when the commands merged.

When asked for a highlight of his career he said two things stood out.

"Going to court when I was detective and having a win to look after the victims...they really appreciated that," he said.

"Also, seeing the young constables coming through the ranks and mentoring them and seeing them blossom as police officers."

So what's next for the 57-year-old?

"I'm going to play some lawn bowls, do some gardening and take some cooking lessons. I might even learn a second language like Spanish," he said.