Project to remember Collie’s police history

Senior Sergeant Heath Soutar with the honour board he completed while serving as the officer in charge of the Laverton Police Station. He's hoping to complete a similar project for the Collie Police Station. Photo: supplied
Senior Sergeant Heath Soutar with the honour board he completed while serving as the officer in charge of the Laverton Police Station. He's hoping to complete a similar project for the Collie Police Station. Photo: supplied

Collie Police has undertaken an ambitious project to record and recognise the history of police in the town.

Senior Sergeant Heath Soutar said he began researching the history of the station and in particular the station’s officers in charge when he took over the job over a year ago.

He said he plans to create an honour board, which will be displayed behind the front desk of the police station, to recognise the efforts the officers in charge have put in over the station’s 121 year history.

“Our history goes all the way back to 1897 at Collie Police Station so I thought it would be interesting to do a little bit of research and find out who all the previous officers in charge were,” he said.

“I’ve managed to get the list sorted from 1897 to current day and the plan is to have an honour board.”

Senior Sergeant Soutar said he had completed a similar project while serving as the officer in charge of the Laverton Police Station.

“It’s a little project I did in Laverton and I want to do here,” he said.

“I think it’s important to recognise the officers in charge because they do a pretty important job in the community.”

He said the research had given him a greater appreciation for how the role of police had changed over time.

“The police station has evolved over time. Initially there was just one officer here in 1897 and it has increased to have 15 police officers and one unsworn member as well now,” he said.

With help from local historians and the Police Historical Society, Senior Sergeant Soutar was able to find that there had been 39 officers in charge of the Collie Police Station throughout its history.

He said the next stage of the project was to get the honour board made.

“I’ve got the menshed on board – they’re actually going to make me a board,” he said.

“Now I’m looking for a sponsor for the board who will have their name emblazoned across the bottom so we can get the plaques made up.”

He said the honour board would build on the previous history project undertaken by station – an honour board that displays the name badge of any previous Collie officer that sends one in.

Senior Sergeant Soutar said he was also hoping the community would get involved and share any photos they have of Collie Police in uniform throughout history.

“Down at the museum, there’s photos of the fire brigade, army and all sorts but there’s very little of police officers in uniform from Collie doing police stuff,” he said.

“I’d love some photographs to display.”

Anyone who would like to be involved can contact the Collie Police Station on 9734 6333.