Veteran cop Nigel McGlone retires from the force after more than three decades with "no regrets" but acknowledges he will leave with horrific memories of some of the cases he has worked on.
Sergeant McGlone, 51, who is the Western Bay police's alcohol harm reduction officer, said during his 31 years in the force he was involved in investigating many high profile cases, but the 1992 Schlaepfer farm multiple murders stood out among the rest.
On May 20 that year South Auckland farmer Brian Schlaepfer stabbed his wife during an argument, then went on to shoot his three sons, a daughter-in-law before stabbing his 11-year-old grandson before taking his own life.
Mr McGlone said Schlaepfer had lay in wait for his nine-year-old son, and his grand-daughter was the only survivor.
"It was really tragic. I still remember it all. It doesn't consume your every walking hour but I do remember it vividly. You don't tend to dwell on these cases, but the sights, the scene, the smells and breathing it all in is not something you could ever forget."
"It was quite difficult for everyone involved. This was beyond evil. Some people clearly are troubled and need help but some people are just evil for a want of better word."
Mr McGlone, who retires on September 30, said had decided to take early retirement to seek new opportunities, not because he felt bitter or disillusioned with being a member
of the police force.
Most of his career has been served in the South Auckland area, after he joined the police on July 15, 1985, he said.
Mr McGlone said he would have joined sooner but they raised the enlisted age to 20 when he was 16.
Born in Otahuhu, and educated at De Le Salle College in Mangere, he left school in 1983.
He worked as a bank teller for 18 months until he was old enough to join the police.
"At one point I toyed with the idea of becoming a vet or maybe a journalist, but the controversial 1981 Springbok [rugby] tour helped cement my decision.
"Particularly after the Waikato and Auckland tests when I saw police attacked and spat at.
I headed to police college three weeks after my 20th birthday, and graduated after a four months shortened course."
Mr McGlone said his first posting was to Otahuhu station which only lasted six weeks before he was transferred to the Papakura station.
"I remember my first day walking the beat. I was sent out by myself with a portable radio and police baton. There were no stab-proof vests like there is today. I felt so conspicuous in my police uniform, and thought 'oh my God what have it done'.
"I remember thinking I really hoped no one talks to me or urgently needs my help. There is far more training and support for police out on patrol today."
"My first week on the job was a real eye-opener," he said.
Mr McGlone said the majority of his service between 1985 and 2006 was spent working in the South Auckland area.
He spent 17 years in the Criminal Investigation Bureau and rose through the ranks to become Detective Sergeant, and worked on countless homicide and rape investigations.
While never seriously injured while on duty, two years in the job, he caught Hepatitis B from a prisoner who smashed a ranch slider and he spent eight weeks in quarantine.
In 2006 after applying to come to Tauranga three times Mr McGlone was appointed to his current role as the Western Bay police's alcohol harm reduction coordinator - a role he has held for the past decade.
"It was new role for Tauranga and I was pretty much given a blank canvas to go out and start building relationships with the licensees and community agencies. When I got to here, Tauranga was pretty much like the 'wild west' with no real controls on public intoxication and the way people behaved around alcohol.
"Particularly in some of the licensed premises. Often you were seen as a wowser or the fun-police. This is not about alcohol prohibition. It's about ensuring we can control alcohol-related disorder and ensure people act responsibly around alcohol, and there are controls as to where alcohol can be consumed."
Mr McGlone said his new role was a steep-learning curve for him as well as some of the licensees, and yes there were a few "butting of heads" in the beginning.
"I'm quite happy to say now that the vast majority of licensees do the right thing. I don't think there are any rogue licensees now who deliberately flout the rules. But sometimes like your children, they need be reminded what is expected."
Mr McGlone said he had always prided himself on treating everyone with respect and with some dignity, that included the worst of offenders which had paid huge dividends numerous times during his career.
That included when he investigated a series of intruder rapes in the late 1990s in Manurewa, he said.
"One suspect's name kept coming up. The suspect was already in Paremoremo Prison. He was the most evil man I have ever had to deal with. I went to visit him to try to persuade him to provide a DNA sample but he remained defiant.
"I was determined he wouldn't get the better of me and visited him three times without success. Then one day out of the blue he phoned me and asked me to come and see him. He ended up admitted everything, and even shook my hand and thanked me after I arrested him...He is still in prison serving a sentence of preventative detention."
Mr McGlone said he leaves the police with no firms plans but has a long list of projects he's keen to get stuck into.
"My plan is to have few months off until the end of the year, and then look closely at what opportunities are open to me."
He wanted to thank his wife Karen, his daughter Alexandra, 20, and 16-year-old son Luke, who he said were always been his greatest supporters and had backed him 100 per cent during his career.
Mr McGlone said he has had the privilege of working with some fantastic people, both police staff and in the community.
"But you get to point when you know it's time to move on and doing something different and I leave with no regrets and lots great memories.
"It's been a very rewarding career, but it's definitely a job where do get to see the best and worst of society. I'm proud to have had the chance to serve this community and hopefully I have been able to made a difference in making people feel safe."
1985: Joined police on July 15.
1985: Worked as a Constable in the Papakura uniform branch
1989: Accepted into the CIB as a constable on trial and after 6-months promoted to Detective Constable
1992: Qualified as a full detective just before he got married
1994: Promoted to Detective Sergeant and served in the CIB until posted to Tauranga.
2006: Appointed Western Bay police's alcohol harm reduction officer.