LEADING Sen-Constable Stephen Harvey had been stationed at Walwa for only eight months, but he had already made a big impact on the small community.
Sen-Constable Harvey was killed on a property near Walwa on Sunday after he was electrocuted while working with a generator on the Cudgewa-Bluff Road.
The 53-year-old transferred to Walwa from Eildon in March.
“He had an impact on the town in such a short time,” Walwa General Store owner Joyce Hunt said.
“Everyone here can’t believe it, we’re devastated.”
Ms Hunt said the courteous and likeable police officer was the epitome of what a copper on the bush beat should be.
“He was making a big connection with everyone. He reached out to people,” she said.
Sen-Constable Harvey spent days off with the Planned Activity Group, where Walwa’s older population would meet weekly for lunch.
Ms Hunt, who served coffee to the police officer almost daily, said he often just called on the elderly to check if they were OK.
Sen-Constable Harvey also had been on school camps with the Walwa Primary School and gave talks to the students so they understood the role of a police officer.
“If you had a problem, he did all he could to help,” she said.
Sgt Bernie Magner, of Eildon police, worked with Sen-Constable Harvey for two years during Sen-Constable Harvey’s six years there.
Sgt Magner, a friend as well as a colleague, has spent the last two days informing the Eildon community.
“Everyone’s really upset. A lot of people have taken it very hard,” he said..
“He was very connected to his community and very highly regarded at Eildon ... he went above and beyond what’s expected.”
At Wodonga, Inspector Tony Davis said the work of a police officer in one-man stations like Walwa was often demanding and difficult.
“It’s a loss for the community.”