Insider’s story: Life on the front line over 24 years
"WE run towards what you're running away from."
Rockhampton Acting Senior Sergeant Carl Burgoyne has seen more than most people can imagine in his 24 years as a police officer.
"Friday and Saturday nights can be quiet or can be absolute bedlam, you can never really tell," Act Snr Sgt Burgoyne said.
"In the hotter months we tend to have more calls for service because people are out socialising a lot more."
Act Snr Sgt Burgoyne said a lot of the calls he heads to on the weekend are due to alcohol and substance abuse.
"Every job is different, if it's a disturbance you can sort of say there's a better than average chance it's been alcohol and drug related," he said.
With more than two decades in the job, Act Snr Sgt Burgoyne said he's seen a change in the amount of awareness that's out there about the affects that alcohol and drugs can have on people.
"Back 20 years ago there wasn't as much focus on how alcohol and drugs contributed to the problems we had compared to today," he said.
"New and improved legislation has provided police with powers to deal with many of the issues by opening up alternative options to traditional enforcement such as referral to agencies trained to address substance abuse issues."
While alcohol and drugs contribute to violence, police officers have to deal with the violence first hand and sometimes take the brunt of it.
"Your situational awareness has to expand because you are likely to be assaulted, particularly with drugs," Act Snr Sgt Burgoyne said.
"People (affected by substances) who normally wouldn't be violent with police, will assault us."
At the end of the day, Act Snr Sgt Burgoyne says that the job is all about helping people and keeping them safe.
"I love the job, there's so many good things that you can do for people," he said.
"The decent people in society need to feel safe from those who seek to prey upon them. We are the ones charged with providing that protection."
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