Murders, manhunts, and mourning: Wagga’s top cop bids farewell to city

news, local-news,

Bushfires, pandemics and putting murderers behind bars are the high-profile moments that have made headlines during the Riverina’s top cop’s eight-year career at the helm. But it’s the everyday work of his officers across 20 stations that has made Superintendent Bob Noble the proudest since taking up the position of Commander. He started in 2013 when it was just Wagga Local Area Command and remained in the role when it became the Riverina Police District in 2017, almost doubling in size. “I was the Superintendent at the Walgett-Castlereagh LAC before that for the best part of five years and then transferred down here in late 2013,” Superintendent Noble said. “The time here has been very demanding and certainly very challenging on a personal and professional level. It has been extremely rewarding too, as I have worked with an incredible bunch of police.” Superintendent Noble said many high-profile moments had captured media attention. Still, he said he was incredibly proud of the men and women who wore their uniforms every day and served the community. He said the introduction of the Police Officer of the Year awards, organised in conjunction with the Wagga Sunrise Rotary, was a definite highlight. “We held them for five years, but not the last two years because of COVID,” Superintendent Noble said. “To see all the police get recognised for their outstanding work is something that I reflect on positively. Seeing people doing well and seeing people achieving things is one of the things that matter most to me.” One of the darkest days for Superintendent Noble followed the Lockhart tragedy that claimed the life of a beloved family. On September 8, 2014, Geoff Hunt shot his wife of 13 years, Kim, on a path outside their Lockhart district farmhouse. He then shot his 10-year-old son, Fletcher, and daughters Mia, 8, and Phoebe, 6, as they lay in bed before driving to a nearby farm dam and shooting himself. “I still think a lot about that family and those children and the people they left behind,” Superintendent Noble said. “The three children in the home were the same age as my own children at the time.” IN OTHER NEWS: In another tragedy, local police responded after an officer stationed at Wagga took their own life while on duty. While it was heartbreaking for the community, Superintendent Noble said he was proud of how people rallied to help each other. “These are things that jump out as things to reflect on,” he said. A standout criminal case was the attempted shooting of police officers by Gino and Mark Stocco that set off a chain of events culminating in a tri-state search. “That was a very big job, and that was all commanded from here for 12 days, including the capture later on at Dunedoo,” Superintendent Noble said. “I don’t mind saying that stretched me.” Managing a district with 20 police stations comes with its own set of challenges. “One of the most frustrating things is you don’t get to spend as much time with all your staff,” Superintendent Noble said. “I would have loved to have spent more time with the troops out in the field. “The management and accounting functions are so onerous in my role that a lot of my time, regrettably, was spent with my feet underneath my desk.” Championing the issue of mental health has been a particular passion for Superintendent Noble, but it was not one that always stood in front of mind. “As you grow a little bit older, you realise you’re not invulnerable, and the people around you are not invulnerable,” he said. “We are exposed to things that can damage our mental health, which can go on to affect other things. “When you see and deal with families, particularly of young people that have taken their lives, if that doesn’t make you sit up and take pause, then I don’t know what would.” Superintendent Noble said the role of policing has become more complex, especially with the pandemic and the changing public health orders. He said it has been essential for him to make it as easy as possible for his officers on the ground. Superintendent Noble will finish up in his current role on Friday as he prepares to take on the same position but stationed at Bathurst. In two months, Andrew Spliet will return to Wagga to take up the mantle of Commander. Superintendent Noble thanked the community in the Riverina for their support over the eight years. “Thank you for the friendships,” he said. “With 30 years in the police force, this is the longest I have stayed within one place, and it’s been great. I am very proud to have worked here because of the great communities here in the Riverina.” If reading about some of these issues has affected you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

/images/transform/v1/crop/frm/KJkc2YALBiLZR4785Hgwkz/35d979e1-ba56-4553-b1eb-adfc5eba3b7d.jpg/r0_23_3691_2108_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

Bushfires, pandemics and putting murderers behind bars are the high-profile moments that have made headlines during the Riverina’s top cop’s eight-year career at the helm.

But it’s the everyday work of his officers across 20 stations that has made Superintendent Bob Noble the proudest since taking up the position of Commander.

He started in 2013 when it was just Wagga Local Area Command and remained in the role when it became the Riverina Police District in 2017, almost doubling in size.

“I was the Superintendent at the Walgett-Castlereagh LAC before that for the best part of five years and then transferred down here in late 2013,” Superintendent Noble said.

“The time here has been very demanding and certainly very challenging on a personal and professional level. It has been extremely rewarding too, as I have worked with an incredible bunch of police.”

COMMUNITY'S LOSS: Bob Noble addresses the media after the Lockhart tragedy.

+10

Superintendent Noble said many high-profile moments had captured media attention. Still, he said he was incredibly proud of the men and women who wore their uniforms every day and served the community.

He said the introduction of the Police Officer of the Year awards, organised in conjunction with the Wagga Sunrise Rotary, was a definite highlight.

“We held them for five years, but not the last two years because of COVID,” Superintendent Noble said.

“To see all the police get recognised for their outstanding work is something that I reflect on positively. Seeing people doing well and seeing people achieving things is one of the things that matter most to me.”

One of the darkest days for Superintendent Noble followed the Lockhart tragedy that claimed the life of a beloved family. On September 8, 2014, Geoff Hunt shot his wife of 13 years, Kim, on a path outside their Lockhart district farmhouse.

He then shot his 10-year-old son, Fletcher, and daughters Mia, 8, and Phoebe, 6, as they lay in bed before driving to a nearby farm dam and shooting himself.

“I still think a lot about that family and those children and the people they left behind,” Superintendent Noble said. “The three children in the home were the same age as my own children at the time.”

In another tragedy, local police responded after an officer stationed at Wagga took their own life while on duty.

While it was heartbreaking for the community, Superintendent Noble said he was proud of how people rallied to help each other.

“These are things that jump out as things to reflect on,” he said.

A standout criminal case was the attempted shooting of police officers by Gino and Mark Stocco that set off a chain of events culminating in a tri-state search.

“That was a very big job, and that was all commanded from here for 12 days, including the capture later on at Dunedoo,” Superintendent Noble said. “I don’t mind saying that stretched me.”

Managing a district with 20 police stations comes with its own set of challenges.

“One of the most frustrating things is you don’t get to spend as much time with all your staff,” Superintendent Noble said.

“I would have loved to have spent more time with the troops out in the field.

“The management and accounting functions are so onerous in my role that a lot of my time, regrettably, was spent with my feet underneath my desk.”

Championing the issue of mental health has been a particular passion for Superintendent Noble, but it was not one that always stood in front of mind.

I am very proud to have worked here.

Bob Noble

“As you grow a little bit older, you realise you’re not invulnerable, and the people around you are not invulnerable,” he said.

“We are exposed to things that can damage our mental health, which can go on to affect other things.

“When you see and deal with families, particularly of young people that have taken their lives, if that doesn’t make you sit up and take pause, then I don’t know what would.”

Superintendent Noble said the role of policing has become more complex, especially with the pandemic and the changing public health orders.

He said it has been essential for him to make it as easy as possible for his officers on the ground.

Superintendent Noble will finish up in his current role on Friday as he prepares to take on the same position but stationed at Bathurst. In two months, Andrew Spliet will return to Wagga to take up the mantle of Commander.

Superintendent Noble thanked the community in the Riverina for their support over the eight years.

“Thank you for the friendships,” he said.

“With 30 years in the police force, this is the longest I have stayed within one place, and it’s been great. I am very proud to have worked here because of the great communities here in the Riverina.”

If reading about some of these issues has affected you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Related Posts

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Premium Content

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Create New Account!

Fill the forms bellow to register

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Add New Playlist

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?