EVERY single police officer in the state knew from that moment on – life meant life.
Friday’s sentencing of Michael Allan Jacobs – the first cop killer rubber-stamped never to be released – had repercussions that go much further than the streets of Tamworth.
It’s something that touches every NSW officer near and far, regardless of if they knew Senior Constable David Rixon.
“This sort of stuff stays with us forever,” Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd said yesterday.
“There is still a family that needs supporting.
“It’ll never be lost on us, we’ll never forget it.”
For some the judgement is still sinking in, for others it has closed the door on what has been an horrific nightmare spanning 18 arduous months.
The moment the judgement was handed down it was broadcast across the police radio to every corner of the state.
“Every police station, every police vehicle heard it,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
“It was important that we got the message back to those who couldn’t make it there.
“Anything less than Friday’s result would have been unacceptable.
“I think it gives the community reassurance that the justice system does work.”
Acting Superintendent Budd sat alongside a strong contingent of Oxley police who made the journey to the NSW Supreme Court.
He said it was like a massive feeling of anxiety had lifted.
They had got their man, and he was never coming out.
“It was certainly a massive relief for everyone involved,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
“I think it gave a bit of closure to the whole show in terms of all that legal activity and prosecution.
“I think it provided validation for officers in terms of what Dave was doing ... his job and his duties.”
Every fellow officer still turns up for duty in Oxley despite the tragic death of Senior Constable Rixon on March 2, 2012.
It has not been an easy road for local police.
They lost their fellow officer and were overcome with grief before they had to relive every detail in a gruelling five-week trial.
“I think it’s been very challenging,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
“To the credit of all those police, they’ve continued with their business, their job, their duties.
“They have given evidence as witnesses and supported each other as colleagues.
“There has been a high degree of resilience and determination to get on with the job.”
Michael Allan Jacobs sat stone-faced throughout Friday’s sentencing proceedings, showing little emotion.
But one thing that was clear in the courtroom was a sea of blue.
Dozens of police officers watched on as Justice Richard Button handed down a life sentence; not even he could have escaped noticing the blue force.
“Those numbers and that showing of police made a statement about our occupation and what it means to the police family,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
“I think we all carry the burden of tragedy with us when something like this happens. It’s a reality check that it could happen to any one of us at any time.”