My name is Tim LAMBOURNE I am a Sergeant in the Victoria Police Force, a third generation police officer and a research officer for the Victoria Police Historical Society, (V.P.H.S.). The aims of the V.P.H.S. are to promote and encourage the study of police history, particularly within Victoria and to assist in the preservation of artefacts and records of police history in Victoria. The PMI is a wonderful resource of fact and context, perspective and accounts on Victoria’s past.
There have been a significant number of books and other documents written about or referencing Victoria Police and its history. Most, if not all are housed in one form or another in the PMI. On a practical level, this has allowed the V.P.H.S. to invest our limited funds in items other than hard copies of books.
Victoria Police maintains an honour role of members killed on duty. Victoria Police, for a number of reasons, has lost contact with some of the families of our fallen members. It is very important that contact is maintained, even if the member was one of the first to fall, back in the 1840’s. The PMI gives me the opportunity to work at one location, using both the genealogical resources and staff expertise to locate and strengthen ties to these missing families. I have had some success with this and Chief Commissioner Graham ASHTON presented medals to the families of 11 fallen members last year at the Police Academy.
As with any organisation the size of Victoria Police, there is always oversights when it comes to ensuring members are recognised for their important work and sacrifices made to the community. It is imperative to recognise bravery of members passed, even if it is many years later. Researching through the resources of the PMI, I have noted important examples of unrecognised bravery. As a result, these oversights have been rectified and bravery awards for incidents as far back as 1921 have been issued. The PMI has become my one stop shop. It offers easy access to everything I need; from a book on the history of that small country town where a member died in 1880, to access to the vast records in the Victoria Police Gazette.
Working at the Prahran Police Station, the PMI has become my ‘local.’ A lot of my time is spent ‘loitering with intent’ around shelf number 363.2. A vast resource of all things history, the PMI allows a small organisation such as the V.P.H.S. access to these resources and the expertise that goes with it to fulfill our charter.
Photos: Left: former Chief Commissioner Mick Miller who is the patron of the Victoria Police Historical Society and life member. Right: Tim’s Great Uncle Frank who was a member for 40 years, taken in 1943.
For more information on the V.P.H.S see their website: http://www.vicpolhistory.org.au/