The man in charge of Auckland's eastern police area is not only New Zealand's last chief inspector - he's the longest serving officer currently on the force.
Chief Inspector John Palmer has completed 46 years and eight months of service and has risen up the ranks from a young constable to an experienced boss with around 200 staff.
"This is a wonderful career," Mr Palmer says.
"It's difficult, challenging, dangerous, interesting and you're never bored."
On October 15, Mr Palmer will take up a new role based in the city as chief inspector of operations.
This will entail operations planning, metro support and involvement with the custody unit, eagle helicopter and marine police among other things.
Mr Palmer joined the force as a cadet in 1966 and attended police training school in Trentham.
In 1967 he was posted to his home town of Christchurch.
"In those days we had black police cars and a black uniform with helmets."
He says officers would carry a wooden baton, handcuffs and a whistle to alert colleagues if they needed backup.
"I only blew the whistle once," Mr Palmer says, when he witnessed a shop break-in.
"My colleague didn't come. There were no portable radios at that stage."
He was eventually promoted to sergeant in Christchurch and then to senior sergeant.
"I worked in a variety of roles. I was a police prosecutor for a period, I was in charge of the crime control unit, I moved to the enquiry office, the communication centre and I was a watchhouse custody senior and staff senior sergeant."
In 1980 Mr Palmer was promoted again to the role of inspector in Auckland.
He recalls the heartbreaking Money homicide case of the early 1980s where a father threw his two children off Auckland Harbour Bridge. The children did not survive.
"We located the boy but never found the girl. It was very tragic indeed."
In 1986 Mr Palmer was promoted to chief inspector and by 1991 was based in Auckland at the Newmarket station.
More recently he has been calling the Mt Wellington station home.
"I really should have written a book about everything," says Mr Palmer, who received the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003.
"I'm no different to any other long serving officer. I'm not special - I've just done my bit."
Senior Sergeant Brett Hjorth says Mr Palmer's achievements in the police speak for themselves.
"He's a genuine leader who is full of integrity and humility. He is [the most] honest and trustworthy person you will ever be lucky enough to meet - a true gentleman with a great sense of humour."
Mr Hjorth says Mr Palmer's longevity is testament to his loyalty and commitment to police.
"His passion for what he does is evident to all those that have and continue to work with him. You can rely on Chief Inspector Palmer to be there to help and nothing is ever too much trouble."
Mr Palmer says the trials and stresses of the job are worth it.
"I can knock off at the end of the week and say, ‘I've contributed to making society safer'. How could you get a job more satisfying than that?"
- © Fairfax NZ News