Ex-Police Cadets
Association of NSW

What happened to... Click on name to see details
Cadet ID: 2763
Association ID: 525

PETER JOHN LOVELL   Cadet No. 2763

I lived in the western suburbs of Sydney and in my formative years attended the Parramatta Police Citizens Boys Club.  It was there that I met Sgt. 2nd Class Con Hansen, who taught me to swim and over the next few years, in various situations, I came to admire this police officer greatly!


It was then that I made the decision that I wanted to become a police officer myself.  In August 1971, I obtained my HSC.  In October the same year I walked through the gates of the NSWPoliceAcademy at Redfern, where I attended the Recruiting Section, and met Constable 1st Class Les Walker.  I successfully passed the Entrance Examination to become a police cadet at the first attempt.


I was accepted to become a police cadet and so found myself with other young men of my ilk, taking the first steps on the way to a career in the NSW Police Force.


Whilst on my initial cadet parade, we were addressed by Sgt. 2nd Class Les Thompson, (The Cadet Sergeant), who said, “All you young coves’ lives will be changed forever.”  (Thompson was himself a former police cadet.)  The next two days were spent being introduced to the various sections within the Academy, but, at the time, this became a complete blur.  Cadet postings were then issued and I found myself at No. 26 Division at Merrylands.  I was amazed! This was my first sojourn into a working Police Station.


Here, I learned the workings of filing various publications, indexing, and met various senior police officers.  I ceased duty at the station in February 1972.  On the 14th February 1972 I was transferred to No. 28 Division, Water Police, and issued with a serge uniform.  At this division, I saw and learnt a completely different aspect of policing.  I ceased duty there on 16 July 1972 and was then posted to the CIB on 17 July 1972 at Smith and CampbellStreetCity.  Who remembers the “JAM TIN”?  The section I worked in was the Modus Operandi Section, and I was there until 7 December 1972.


Then I was posted on 2 December 1972 to No. 9 Division at Ashfield where I performed station duties until 15 July 1973.  On 16 July 1973 I was posted back to the PoliceAcademywhere I underwent various examinations on theory and physical training and where police cadet sporting sessions were conducted every Wednesday.  It was at this stage that I formed many lasting friendships.


On 3 December 1973 I was posted to No. 26 Division, Fairfield, where I performed station and school crossing duties until 12 November 1974.  On 13 December 1974 I was sworn into and took the oath of office as a NSW police officer and commenced my career at No. 18 Division, Parramatta.   Here I carried out general duties until 22 May 1977.   My initial country transfer, on 23 May 1977, was to Wilcannia in the far west of NSW, a most remote township.  It was a three man station – myself being the most junior officer performing general and motor registry duties.  This was the start of policing at various remote stations and outback areas and it proved to be most enjoyable and very interesting.  I loved it!  Policing in the interior suited my lifestyle immensely.


Broken Hill was my next transfer and that took place on 20 August 1979 and I stayed there until 4 December 1982.  I performed general and highway patrol duties and motor registry.  Broken Hill was a 70 man station as it was the HQ for the far west district of NSW.  My time here was made even more interesting because at various times I was on the relief staff for outlying stations, such as Buronga, Wilcannia and Dareton.  Due to Broken Hill’s close proximity to the SA border, I was sworn as a special constable for that state.


My next transfer was to Yass, on 5 December 1982, a township some 50 kms. south of the ACT.  It was a 20 man station, mainly a HWP station. The reason for this was the Hume Highway, a most heavy traffic route between Sydney and Melbourne.  My duties consisted of highway patrol and general duties and motor registry.  Here I learnt the dangerous facts of controlling heavy traffic in all situations and endured some really dangerous situations.  It was also here that I formed a relationship with a local girl.


My yearning for the far west of NSW had not waned and on 4 March 1986 I was transferred, with my girl, to Ivanhoe, a two man station.  Here I performed general duties and lock up keeper duties.  Also required to be performed at Ivanhoe were duties as a JP and also as acting clerk at Petty Sessions, motor registry duties, Pastures Protection Act and inspections under the Pure Foods Health Act.  Ivanhoe was ranked as the third largest police patrol in NSW.  The closest police were 150 km distant.  The town was surrounded by red and black soil.  The population was approximately 500 persons with no bitumen roads outside of the township.  Radio and TV reception were minimal.  Goods were freighted by truck from Hay, 350 kms. south.  The lifeline was the Indian Pacific train which travelled between Sydney andPerth.


The township of Ivanhoe was mainly a railway changeover town for the above mentioned train.  No permanent dentist or doctor resided in the town.  There was a basic hospital and any emergency was dealt with by the Royal Flying Doctor Service at Broken Hill, some 350 kms. distant.  Various dignitaries, over periods of time, flew into Ivanhoe and were greeted by myself in a most inappropriate police vehicle. As a result, I put pen to paper and requested a more suitable vehicle.  I suggested that all police stations in the far west of NSW be supplied with a 4 wheel drive station wagon and that police in remote towns be authorized to convey family members for companionship whilst performing all duties. This request was granted by the then Commissioner, J K Avery.


My girl was my “right hand man” at Ivanhoe and we performed all facets of a mobile police station to many remote station properties.  On 15 April 1988 I was transferred to BatemansBay, a town situated on the far south coast of NSW.  The police station overlooked the water and I was mesmerized by the sea views, but still I looked down at my boots and knew that I yearned to see the red dust once again of the far west of NSW.


On 30 January 1990 I was transferred back to my beloved west to Warren Police Station where I performed general and lock up duties and motor registry duties.  I was 2nd in charge of a six man station.  During my tour of duty at Warren, the then Commissioner of Police required all senior police from the bush to be transferred to the Sydney metropolitan area in the interest of the service.  I was devastated!  Reluctantly I returned to the big smoke to Granville Police Station about August 1991.


Here I had the greatest difficulty in adapting to policing in the big city.  As a result I resigned my commission on 13 December 1991.


In my early police career I often heard the words, “look after No. 1”, and when I crossed the Darling River at Wilcannia I heard the words, “Once you cross the Darling, you will always return.” In fact I returned three times.


The discipline, standard of behaviour and the personal turnout expected of police cadets have stood me in great stead throughout my life and for this I am eternally grateful. After leaving the police service I moved to Queensland where I successfully gained employment with Australia Post and I am still permanently employed with them.


I can still recall some nick-names associated with various cadets, being –




Can you put names to the above?