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HUITSON, Glen

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FUNERAL SERVICE FOR SERGEANT GLEN ANTHONY HUITSON ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL, DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY SATURDAY 7 AUGUST 1999 EULOGY GIVEN BY COMMISSIONER BRIAN BATES SERGEANT GLEN HUITSON WAS A DEVOTED AND LOVING HUSBAND AND FATHER OF LISA, JOSEPH AND RUBY. I CAN ONLY CONVEY THE HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES AND SYMPATHY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE FORCE AND INDEED THE COMMUNITY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY TO GLEN'S WIFE, CHILDREN AND BOTH THEIR FAMILIES. WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP THEM, NOT ONLY THROUGH THIS TIME BUT IN THE TIME TO COME. IN HIS LETTER OF APPLICATION TO JOIN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE FORCE, SERGEANT GLEN HUITSON SAID, AND I QUOTE: “I WAS BORN ON 20 NOVEMBER 1961 IN BRIDGETOWN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, THE OLDEST SON IN A FAMILY OF THREE. MY PARENTS OWNED AND OPERATED A SMALL TIN MINE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF GREENBUSHES WHERE I LIVED FOR 12 YEARS. GREEN BUSHES WAS A GREAT ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH TO GROW UP AS A CHILD, BEING A SMALL TOWN SURROUNDED BY BUSH. WE SPENT MANY HOURS EXPLORING AND DISCOVERING NATURE. LOOKING BACK ON MY CHILDHOOD I AM GRATEFUL TO MY PARENTS FOR THE STRICT BUT FAIR METHOD OF INSTILLING IN ME A SET OF MORAL STANDARDS AND PRINCIPLES IN KEEPING WITH COMMUNITY IDEALS. THIS GUIDANCE WAS TO BENEFIT ME LATER IN LIFE." GLEN GOES ON TO TALK ABOUT HIS GROWING UP YEARS AND HIS EARLY EMPLOYMENT, PARTICULARLY WHEN THE FAMILY MOVED IN 1978 TO BUSSLETON WHERE HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE LOCAL FOOTBALL CLUB AS A PLAYER AND AN ADMINISTRATOR, AS A COACH AND UMPIRE AND FOR THREE YEARS AS A FIREMAN IN THE VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE AND WITH THE LOCAL ROSTRUM CLUB. TOWARDS THE END OF THIS LETTER OF APPLICATION GLEN SAYS, AND I AGAIN QUOTE: "APPROXIMATELY FIVE YEARS AGO I DECIDED THAT IF AT THE AGE OF 25 I WAS STILL DISAPPOINTED WITH THE WAY MY CAREER WAS HEADING, THIS WOULD BE THE TIME TO MAKE A START IN A POSITION IN LIFE THAT I WOULD ENJOY. THE MOST HONEST WAY I FOUND TO FIND A CAREER I WANTED WAS TO SIT DOWN WITH A PEN AND PAPER AND WRITE DOWN JOBS IN WHICH I WOULD WORK FOR NO FINANCIAL REWARD. MY LIST CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING: FISHERIES INSPECTOR, CUSTOMS OFFICER, AMBULANCE OFFICER, WELFARE WORKER AND A POLICE OFFICER. SINCE WRITING DOWN THAT LIST I HAVE WORKED TOWARDS EQUIPPING MYSELF FOR ONE OF THOSE POSITIONS. THIS HAS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING: BEING A FIREMAN WITH OUR LOCAL VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE, ACHIEVING A FIRST AID CERTIFICATE WITH A ST JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE, INVOLVING MYSELF HEAVILY IN COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, MAINLY THROUGH SPORT, AND INVOLVING MYSELF IN PUBLIC SPEAKING. AFTER READING ABOUT THE POSITION OF POLICE OFFICER FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY I DECIDED THAT THIS WOULD INDEED OFFER ME THE CAREER I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR. AS A POLICE OFFICER IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY I WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION IN MAKING THE NORTHERN TERRITORY A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE IN, THEREBY ACHIEVING MY GOAL OF JOB SATISFACTION." ALL OF US WITHIN THE POLICE FORCE AND INDEED THE DEPARTMENT OF POLICE, FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, ARE EXTREMELY SHOCKED BY THE DEATH OF SERGEANT GLEN HUITSON. HIS LOSS IS A TRAGEDY FOR THE POLICE SERVICE AND THERE ARE SIMPLY NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE THAT SENSE OF LOSS, THE WASTE AND THE TRAGEDY THAT THE WHOLE POLICE FAMILY FEELS TODAY. I WOULD ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PRESENCE HERE TODAY OF SERVING POLICE OFFICERS FROM ALL STATES AND TERRITORIES OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND. IT IS TRITE TO SAY THAT ALL POLICE FAMILIES KNOW THE DANGERS OF POLICE WORK, BUT NOTHING CAN EVER PREPARE US FOR SOMETHING LIKE GLEN'S DEATH. NO POLICE FORCE COULD BE MORE PROUD THAN TO HAVE IN ITS RANKS AN OFFICER OF THE CALIBRE OF GLEN HUITSON. HE TOUCHED AND AFFECTED SO MANY PEOPLE'S LIVES, NOT ONLY WITHIN THE POLICE FORCE BUT WITHIN THE COMMUNITY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY THAT HE SWORE TO SERVE AND PROTECT. AND HE DID MORE THAN THAT - BECAUSE ON NO LESS THAN THREE OCCASIONS, THE THIRD TRAGICALLY RESULTING IN HIS DEATH, HE WAS CONFRONTED WITH LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS. GLEN RECEIVED MY COMMENDATION FOR AN INCIDENT ON 17 MARCH 1994 WHEN HE ATTENDED A DISTURBANCE AT A COMMUNITY NEAR ALICE SPRINGS. HE DISARMED A DRUNKEN PERSON WHO WAS ARMED WITH A KNIFE, STEEL BAR, NULLA NULLA AND A STAR PICKET. THE PERSON WAS THREATENING ANOTHER COMMUNITY MEMBER WITH A BILLY OF BOILING WATER. WITHOUT REGARD FOR HIS OWN SAFETY SERGEANT HUITSON PREVENTED THIS PERSON THROWING THE BOILING WATER BUT IN FACT WAS STRUCK AND COVERED IN BOILING WATER HIMSELF OVER HIS UPPER BACK, RIGHT UPPER ARM AND LEFT FOREARM. HIS QUICK ACTIONS ALLOWED OTHER POLICE OFFICERS TO RESTRAIN THE OFFENDER AND REMOVE HIM AS A THREAT TO THE COMMUNITY. THE BURNS GLEN RECEIVED CAUSED HIM CONSIDERABLE PAIN AND SUFFERING AND HE REQUIRED HOSPITAL TREATMENT. AND THEN THERE WAS THE INCIDENT IN FEBRUARY THIS YEAR WHEN SERGEANT HUITSON DISARMED AN ARMED MAN WHO HAD JUMPED ON THE BULLBAR OF A TOURIST BUS IN LITCHFIELD PARK. THE MAN WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS AND ARMED WITH A LOADED .22 RIFLE AND WAS THREATENING THE DRIVER AND PASSENGERS OF THE BUS ON BATCHELOR ROAD. GLEN KNEW THAT HELP WAS ABOUT 15 MINUTES AWAY AND WAS DEEPLY CONCERNED FOR THE SAFETY OF THE DRIVER, PASSENGERS AND PASSING MOTORISTS. HE SINGLE-HANDEDLY ATTEMPTED TO DIRECT TRAFFIC, ENGAGE THE MAN IN CONVERSATION AND KEEP POLICE COMMUNICATIONS ADVISED OF THE SITUATION. HE THEN APPROACHED THE MAN TO DISTRACT HIS ATTENTION FROM THE BUS AND PASSENGERS, PLACING HIMSELF AT CONSIDERABLE RISK. GLEN ENGAGED THE MAN IN CONVERSATION FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES AND EVENTUALLY CONVINCED HIM TO PLACE THE FIREARM ON THE BULLBAR OF THE BUS AND WALK A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY WHERE GLEN TACKLED HIM TO THE GROUND AND WAS THEN HELPED BY OTHER POLICE WHO HAD JUST ARRIVED. THIS WAS WITHOUT DOUBT AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL COURAGE, AND SERGEANT HUITSON WAS IN FACT DUE TO RECEIVE A VALOUR AWARD OVER THAT INCIDENT. IN SERGEANT GLEN HUITSON THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE HAD A TRUE BUSH COPPER AND AN IDEAL ROLE MODEL FOR OTHER POLICE. HE WAS A TOTAL PROFESSIONAL WHO GOT ALONG WITH COLLEAGUES AND THE PUBLIC ALIKE AND WAS EXTREMELY POPULAR WITH ABORIGINAL PEOPLE HE WORKED WITH, IN THE COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE TERRITORY. WHAT A TREMENDOUS LOSS HE IS, NOT ONLY TO THIS POLICE FORCE BUT TO THE TERRITORY. IN CLOSING THERE IS PERHAPS NO BETTER WAY TO TALK ABOUT THIS OUTSTANDING AND COMPASSIONATE POLICE OFFICER THAN BY TELLING YOU ABOUT A REPORT HE RECENTLY SUBMITTED, AND I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT I SHARE THIS WITH YOU ALL. GLEN HAD RESEARCHED THE HISTORY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE SERVICE AND HE FOUND MANY EXAMPLES OF UNRECOGNISED SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY BY FORMER MEMBERS, AND PARTICULARLY POLICE TRACKERS. HE SAID IN HIS MEMO THAT THIS UNRECOGNISED WORK WAS, AT THE TIME, NO DOUBT CONSIDERED TO BE JUST PART OF THE JOB, AND UNLESS YOU HAPPENED TO DIE ON DUTY OR REACHED A HIGH RANK, VERY LITTLE WAS DONE TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY OF THOSE MANY FORMER MEMBERS. GLEN APPRECIATED THE SERENITY AND BEAUTY OF THE ADELAIDE RIVER WAR CEMETERY WHERE HE ALSO NOTICED SEVERAL PLAQUES DEDICATED TO MILITARY MEMBERS. HE HAD SEVERAL IDEAS TO HONOUR THE MEMORY OF POLICE MEMBERS, INCLUDING PLANTING TREES WITH PLAQUES DEDICATED TO MEMBERS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A MEMORIAL AVENUE IN OUR POLICE COMPLEX, THE PETER MCAULAY CENTRE. HE SUGGESTED NEW PLAQUES COULD BE DEDICATED ANNUALLY ON A SIGNIFICANT DAY, FOR EXAMPLE, POLICE REMEMBRANCE DAY. THERE TOO, HE EMPHASISED THE WHOLE COMMUNITY SHOULD BE INVITED AND INVOLVED. IT IS MY INTENTION TO HONOUR GLEN'S SUGGESTIONS IN THAT REPORT, AND ALSO PAY TRIBUTE TO HIM, IN A WAY I FEEL SURE HE AND YOU WOULD APPROVE OF. FINALLY, IN THE WORDS OF THE 13TH CHAPTER OF CORINTHIANS: "THERE REMAINS THEN, FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, THESE THREE; BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE."

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