West Australian Police Officer Receives a Surprising Thank You From The Public

Acting Sergeant Darren Gillis got a pleasant surprise while driving through a Northam McDonald’s – the car in front of him had shouted him a coffee.

Acting Sgt Gillis was in Northam conducting enquiries around CCTV, following the case of a stolen vehicle in Goomalling which had last been seen in the Northam Area.

He received the nice gesture while stopping off at the local McDonald’s.

“I didn’t know the car or the person in the car at all, but when I arrived at the drive-through window they let me know that the person in front me had bought me a coffee,” said Acting Sgt Gillis.

“Obviously we would never expect anything like that, but it was a really nice and touching thing to happen – even more so for the gesture than the coffee itself,” he said.

He tweeted about the incident from the Goomalling Police Twitter account (@GoomallingPol) and was even interviewed about it on 6PR Afternoons with Simon Beaumont.

Acting Sgt Gillis is part of a two-man station in Goomalling, north of Northam and a two-hour drive from Perth. It’s a close-knit community of 500 people.

“The locals are really friendly and we have a close relationship with the community – obviously a two-man station has its challenges but plenty of rewards as well.”

While the coffee was certainly unusual, Acting Sgt Gillis said he does receive some encouragement and appreciation from the public.

“Every now and then I’ve had people come up to me and say we do appreciate what you do, and it’s always nice,” he said.

“Sometimes we have to give bad news, and on one occasion we had to do that, three weeks later a woman came up to me and gave me a hug and thanked me for my compassion in a bad situation.”

So while maybe not going to the lengths of shouting their local officer a coffee, would Acting Sgt Gillis encourage other members of the community to thank and show their appreciation for police if they get the opportunity?

“Absolutely, if they feel that way – I would always encourage you to feel free to come up and talk to police, and if you’ve got something nice to say, that’s great.”

“Especially in the smaller communities, we try and interact with the public as much as we can, so that’s definitely encouraged.”

by Andrew Williams

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