WALWA residents say that when they get a new police officer, they want one just like Stephen Harvey.
Leading Sen-Constable Harvey died after being electrocuted on the Cudgewa-Bluff Road in Walwa on February 3.
The 53-year-old was using an electric current, trying to draw worms from the ground.
A memorial service was held at the Walwa Primary School yesterday where 100 people, including Sen-Constable Harvey’s brother, his best friend, colleagues and school students, paid tribute to a man who had entrenched himself in the community.
Walwa Primary School principal Wendy Hodgkin said Sen-Constable Harvey made a big impression, despite only being stationed at Walwa eight months ago.
He had given talks to the children, had a memorable show-and-tell with his new police car and went on school camp.
The favourite memories the students had of Sen-Constable Harvey were displayed in a classroom.
“I remember when he came to our camp, he was the funniest kid there,” one wrote.
“I remember Steve arresting all the Magpies supporters, but he was just tricking,” wrote another.
Ms Hodgkin said her students had a special request for Victoria Police.
“The students have asked that when we get a new police person that they’re just like Steve,” she said.
The Lions Club paid tribute to an officer who would check up on the elderly, as well as the Planned Activity Group where Sen-Constable Harvey made a point of attending meetings to get to know his community.
Melbourne Detective Sgt Peter Kennedy said Sen-Constable Harvey was his “best and closest friend”.
The pair met when they were stationed in Melbourne.
“I was always confident with Stephen by my side,” Sgt Kennedy said.
He said his friend had a strong sense of right and wrong and was compassionate and fair.
“You can trust and rely on Steve,” he said.
“He was the right man for Walwa.”
Sen-Constable Harvey, born in Rochester and raised in Elmore, joined the force in 1989 after a stint in the army. He was in Bendigo and Eildon before moving to Walwa.
Wodonga police service area Insp Tony Davis said the amount of people who had crammed into the Walwa Primary School classroom yesterday was indicative of what he meant to the town.
“It’s a tribute to Steve.”