Cold, wet, tired and hungry... Best job I ever had!

07 May 2015
This photograph of Community Engagement Police Officer (CEPO) Constable 1/C Shane Blanchard and I was taken by a local service provider at Milingimbi while we were returning to shelter after checking on the welfare of those who had not yet found cover in the community during Category Three Tropical Cyclone Nathan.
Constable Shane Blanchard & Senior Constable Jen Hamilton in Mili
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Senior Constable 1/C Jen Hamilton, Community Engagement Police Officer, Southern Command

We had to conduct constant patrols during the cyclone to assist community members who were still out in the weather, which was dangerous for everyone. We didn’t get a chance to get dry or warm again until the afternoon after the cyclone.  

We didn't go to shelter ourselves, we were constantly patrolling, clearing the road to the shelter of fallen debris, checking power lines and on the lookout for fallen trees that had been weakened by Tropical Cyclone Lam just two weeks previous.  

Community members, still traumatised from TC Lam, were telling us about their concerns so we stayed with them for a while in their houses, offering them reassurance.   They were worried about the tide and unsafe trees near their houses.  It was good to be able to be there for them and give them the confidence to get through TC Nathan.  

The service provider was so grateful for what we were doing in the conditions he went and made us something hot to eat and a cup of the best coffee I have ever tasted.  

CEPO...Best job I ever had!