A dedicated police officer who has spent more than four decades protecting communities across the state will put on his blue uniform for the last time today.
Senior Sergeant Martin Bray will bid farewell to his friends and colleagues at the Boondall Police Station as he begins the next chapter of his life.
The Murrumba Downs resident plans on using the rest of his allocated leave entitlements before his official retirement date from the Queensland Police Service on January 3, 2023.
This brings his total time in the Queensland Police Force to 41 years and 2 months.
Speaking to Moreton Daily, Senior Sergeant Bray reflected on his career, especially the many years he worked in the traffic branch.
Senior Sergeant Bray has been the Officer in Charge of the North Brisbane District Road Policing since 2009, and during that time has undoubtedly saved countless lives.
“We have 20 staff here (at Boondall) and we are responsible for traffic enforcement and activities on the northside of Brisbane,” he said.
“We work with traffic branches at Indooroopilly and in Brisbane City and we provide enforcement for general operations such as random breath testing, drug driving, drink driving, and speeding.”
Senior Sergeant Bray said he thoroughly enjoyed his time working in the traffic branch and keeping Queenslanders safe on the roads.
“The way I see it, my wife and children drive on these roads, so the roads need to be safe for them and everyone else,” he said.
“I found my niche in traffic policing because I enjoy riding motorbikes – I have spent the majority of my life riding police bikes and I enjoy the ability to work by myself and provide a service to the community.
“Traffic policing is very different to other branches because not every police officer wants to do it.
“It’s not generally the kind of role where you get people coming up to thank you.
“It’s more confrontational because you’re meeting people with the intention of upholding the law and issuing them with a ticket.
“You do however have good outcomes when you put a drink or drug driver that could have potentially injured someone off the road.”
A long and distinguished career
Before becoming a police officer, Senior Sergeant Bray worked as a shipping clerk and had hoped to work on a ship.
“That didn’t work out, and as my brother was already in the police, I followed him to a degree,” he said.
He commenced as a probationary officer in the Queensland Police Service on October 5, 1981, where he completed six months of training at the Queensland Police Academy in Oxley.
He was 18 at the time.
“I was then sworn in when I was 19 and did my training in Brisbane which was pretty standard at the time – you could either go to stations in Brisbane City, Fortitude Valley or Woolloongabba.”
Senior Sergeant Bray commenced his training at Fortitude Valley Police Station on April 2, 1982.
Throughout his career, he has worked at the following stations/establishments:
- Brisbane City Station (training) – June 21, 1982
- Chermside (training) – August 16, 1982
- Gladstone (training) – December 27, 1982
- Mt Isa (training) – August 1, 1983
- Cloncurry – October 27, 1983
- Brisbane Traffic Branch – February 6, 1986
- Rockhampton – June 6, 1990
- Brisbane Central District Traffic Branch – November 25, 1991
- North Brisbane District Traffic Branch – May 13, 1995
- Clayfield Traffic Branch – April 24, 1999
- Hendra Road Policing (Officer in Charge) – August 12, 2000
- North Brisbane District Road Policing (Officer in Charge) – May 18, 2009 (current)
Having worked in a mixture of both regional and inner-city stations, Senior Sergeant Bray said he enjoyed the responsibilities that came with working at smaller stations.
“I enjoyed my time in country policing because it is a very different kind of policing,” he said.
“I remember many times working as a young constable in Cloncurry I would have no backup – I was it.
“The radio in the police car would reach the station but I was the only one working so no one would answer.
“The radio couldn’t reach Mt Isa, so I had no back up.
“I had to make good decisions there and then.”
Throughout his career, he has also worked at two Commonwealth Games, the Olympic torch relay in Brisbane, and the G20 summit.
He also provided motorcycle escorts for people like Queen Elizabeth II and former American President Bill Clinton.
Words of advice for up-and-coming officers
Senior Sergeant Bray has this to say to anyone who is considering a career in policing.
“It’s a good job and a secure job,” he said.
“You have to treat people the way you wanted to be treated yourself.
“If you go about your duties diligently and honestly, you can come away knowing you have made a positive contribution to the people of the state.”
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