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New top cop shares love of the outback

Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd was welcomed to the local community by Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman. PHOTO TWH

The new acting Commander of Central North Police District is a man who has a long history with the bush, a strong sense of community – and a passion for fishing.

Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd is a career police officer with 34 years on the force, but it is his affection for the bush that has steered the course of his career.

He began official duties in Bourke last week and is hopeful he will be the successful applicant for the job as permanent Commander of the Central North Police District.

“I know the Western region well and I have had a fascination with Bourke for a long time after visiting here over the years,” he said.

“When this position was advertised, I actively pursued it because it is where I want to be both professionally and personally.

“My three children are grown up and independent and it is a new adventure for my wife Fiona and myself.

“I also believe that old adage about the bush – the further west you go, the better the people are, and I know even after a short time here what a strong sense of community there is in Bourke.

“That is really important to me and reflects the community of Parkes where I grew up.

“That was on a small farm at Parkes, and the police were very much a part of all of our lives – they were involved in local sport, in coaching the footy team, they were on the various charity organisations.

“As a young guy I saw the role they played in my hometown and I thought, ‘that’s for me’.

“I also believe strongly in the community of police officers, and I see my role here as being a support for the people who choose to serve their community in the police force,” he said.

Acting Superintendent Budd’s career began in the city in 1987 as a probationary constable at North Sydney.

“I saw plenty of city policing before I transferred to Tamworth for a few years, Emmaville where I was the sole police officer in the town, Glen Innes where we raised our three kids and in 2000 I was based in Mungindi.

“I became an Inspector when I was at Moree, and in 2008 I moved to Tamworth where I served the remainder of my career before coming to Bourke.

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