Robert Jeffrey Joseph CROXFORD


Robert Jeffrey Joseph CROXFORD

aka  Bob

Late of Sunbury

1/  Commonwealth Police

2/  Victoria Police Force  Academy Squad 1/74

Regd. #  18267 ( VicPol )

Rank:  1/  Constable  21 August 1972 to 28 January 1974 ( ComPol )

2/  Probationary Constable – appointed 29 January 1974  ( VicPol )

Senior Constable – appointed 14 June 1979

Sergeant – appointed 30 December 1982

Senior Sergeant – appointed 26 March 1989

Stations: Russell St ( 17 June 1974 ),  Fitzroy ( 14 May 1975 ),  Detective at Russell St, then City West and then Homicide Squad.  CIB ( 14 March 1979 ), Broadmeadow, Avondale Hts ( 30 November 1983 ), City West ( 22 April 1987 – 1989 ), Altona North, Crime Courses Unit ( Detective Training School ) 20 February 1995 – Retirement

Service 1:  ( ComPol )  From  ? ? 1972  to  28 January 1974 = 1 year 161 days  years Service with ComPol

Service 2: ( VicPol ) From  29 January 1974  to  23 September 2000 = 26+ years Service

Total Policing Service:  28+ years Service

Awards: Nation Medal – granted 7 September 1990

Service Medal – 2nd Clasp – granted 1 September 1997

1st Clasp to National Medal – granted 31 July 1999

Service Medal – 3rd Clasp – granted 1 September 1999

Victoria Police Star – granted 2006

  • 1.75 shot whilst on night shift. 2.20am when with Det S/C Kim West – laneway at rear of Cremorne St IRM – 3 shots fired at chest/head height. (Awarded the Victoria Police Star in 2006) . Sick leave 24.1.75 to 11.3.75. Clerical duties in Property Office from 12.3.75 to Retention on 1.4.75.

Born:  3 July 1950 at Euroa Bush Nursing hospital

Died on:  11 September 2010

Age:  60

Cause:  Suicide –

Event location:  Home

Event date:   11 September 2010

Funeral date18 September 2010

Funeral location:  Victoria Police Academy Chapel

Buried at:  Sunbury Lawn Cemetery, 80A Shields St, Sunbury, Victoria


Grave location:

-37.58941978049802    144.73147629682012

 Memorial located at?

[alert_yellow]BOB is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_yellow]  *NEED MORE INFO







May they forever Rest In Peace




  1. Thanks to Bob’s family for giving me the opportunity to speak about Bob today – privilege to be asked. Also pleased to have Nigel up here with me to act as my ‘wingman’ which he’s done many times before.


  1. My aim is give you an overview of Bob’s professional life; his employment career. To do that I need to cover a 45 year period in the space of about 10/15 minutes. As a consequence I’ll be very brief but hopefully it will add to what you already know about his working life and perhaps fill some gaps.


  1. If any of you have been to a trivia night, you may have taken part in a game they call ‘sit down if’. The way it’s run is that everybody stands up and the host asks a question. If the answer applies to you, you keep standing. If it doesn’t, you sit down. It goes on until there’s only one person standing. For example if everybody stood up now I could say something like ‘sit down if…you’ve eaten  takeaway this week.  If you had, you’d sit down and I’d keep finding things to ask to get people to sit down.


If we used that approach here today, I’d ask you to sit down each time I told you something about Bob’s life that you didn’t know about. …and then see how many people were left standing.


The reason I thought about it was that I found that Bob had such a diverse and extensive life – and that’s just from the employment perspective.


Let’s set the scene.



  • Born at the Bush Nursing hospital in Euroa. July 3rd, 1950
  • Full name was Robert Jeffrey Joseph
  • He attended Euroa State and High Schools.
  • Left at age 15 (Form 4) (or Year 10) in July/August 1965


How many people would be left standing?


Bob had four major occupations during his working life.



First Employment – Butchery


  • His first job – almost the day after he left school (July/Aug 65) was with Smith and Ryan (Butchers in Euroa). (Left when widowed mum moved to Wangaratta).
  • When mum moved the family to Wangaratta in April 70 he went to work for L & M.Goodwin (Butchers) Rowan St Wangaratta.


It was during this time Bob decided to pursue another career – policing – and in Aug 71 he first applied for VicPol  – but fail to pass entrance exam. Education test – 65 errors (40 ‘general ability’.)


He decided instead to try for the Commonwealth Police and wrote on his application that he was leaving the butchery because he was “looking for a more interesting position”!


Second Employment – Commonwealth Police


  • He was successful and joined the Commonwealth Police in 1972 at the age of 22.
  • 4 week training course – came 10th of 28.
  • He served as a uniform Constable 21.8.72 to 28.1.74 (1 yr 161 days)
  • Obviously, however, it wasn’t much more of ….”an interesting position…” as while with CommPol – applied to join VicPol after only 15 months. (Nov 73).
  • I noted that in his entrance exam for VicPol, this time made only 43 errors (31 in general ability’)




How many of you would still be standing now?




Third and longest Employment – Victoria Police


  • Joined (Sworn in) 29.1.74
  • 5ft 8 ½ ins (174 cm) 11 stone 7 lb (73kg) – Jarrod Blair (77kg)
  • Blue Eyes; Brown Hair (!) – How many of you would be sitting down now?
  • Living in a flat in Brunswick Rd EBBR
  • Graduated 14.6.74 (Dux of 21 recruits – Squad 1/74)
    • 90%. Sqd avg 84.2%
  • Registered Number 18267
  • Russell Street6.74
  • (Married 74)
    • 1.75 shot whilst on night shift. 2.20am when with Det S/C Kim West – laneway at rear of Cremorne St IRM – 3 shots fired at chest/head height. (Awarded the Victoria Police Star in 2006) . Sick leave 24.1.75 to 11.3.75. Clerical duties in Property Office from 12.3.75 to Retention on 1.4.75.
    • 2 serious operations. Lengthy scar. Grandfather died while in hospital
    • Passed retention 30.4.75
  • Fitzroy uniform 14.5.75
  • It was then I first met Bob – I was at Collingwood which shared a boundary with Fitzroy – between us we covered 70 pubs and would often be ‘backing each other up at brawls’.
  • It was also then that I first formed a personal relationship with him during the annual football match between Collingwood and Fitzroy Police at Victoria Park or the Brunswick Street Oval called the ‘Crusader Cup’. I’m pretty sure the winner was the team that consumed the most stubbies – during the game!
  • It was also at that time that I left a lasting impression on Bob – a facial scar – when during a social cricket game I balled a pathetic ball to him which he tried to smash out of the ground only to miss hit it and end up bloodied and sore. (And, typically of Bob – never brought it up again.)
  • Bob was a great copper. In the 5 yrs at Fitzroy he was officially commended 4 times.




  • ……..for keen observation and zealous and intelligence follow-up action resulting in apprehension and conviction of an offender for motor vehicle theft and other offences. (12.1.76)
  • ………for alertness, keen observation, prompt action, and dedication to duty resulting in the single-hand arrest and successful prosecution of a violent and troublesome offender for a number of serious offences. (3.7.76)
  • ……….for observation, initiative and intelligent action which resulted in the detection of an active and dangerous criminal and the location of exhibits to support other criminal charges. (26.5.77)
  • ……….for observation and attention to duty which led to the apprehension and conviction of three offenders charged with the possession of a large amount of money which they admitted was obtained from the sale of illicit drugs.5.2.79)


  • His Fitzroy uniform days set the scene for a successful career – initially becoming a detective – first at Russell Street and then at City West and then to the highly sought-after Homicide Squad, seen as one of the elite areas of the Force.


  • Joined CIB 14.3.79
  • Promoted to Sen Constable 14.6.79
  • CIB ARS and ACW 79-80
  • Jan-March 1980 – DTS Course 115
  • Homicide 80-82


I was fortunate to work with Bob at Homicide for 2 of those years. It was clear that he was well suited to the role as he was as thorough and meticulous as any person I’d met.


More importantly, it was then that I learnt of one of his most respected characteristics, his empathy and ability to relate to people.  Bob was able to establish a rapport with people, a sincere rapport, better than anyone I’d seen. As Maureen could tell you, the family of homicide victims continued to stay in touch for many years, often sending Bob presents and birthday cards for a long time after he left the squad.


  • When he left Homicide two years later he took promotion to Sergeant in a Police Community Involvement program at Broadmeadows, then to Avondale Hts and back to a detective position at City West until he took promotion to Senior Sergeant at Altona North.


  • Promoted to Sgt 30.12.82 to Police Community Involvement Program VBC
  • Feb-April 1983 – Sub-Officers Course 101
  • Sgt at Avondale Hts 30.11.83
  • Oct-Nov 1986 – Advanced Detective training School No.27
  • CIB City West 22.4.87-89
  • Promoted to S/Sgt 26.3.89 as sub charge Altona Nth
  • NCA secondment (Sydney) 89
  • NCA Secondment (Melb) 89-91 – upgraded to Chief Inspector for lengthy periods. (NCA 25.7.88 to 7.4.91)


  • It was during these years that Bob was seconded to the National Crime Authority with secondments to Melbourne and to Sydney, and at one stage was upgraded to Chief Inspector – a major recognition of his ability, remembering he was a Senior Sergeant at that time.


  • S/Sgt O/C MAN 91-93
    • In 1991 Bob was appointed to the position of Senior Sergeant and in charge of the police station at Altona North. He quickly recognised the need to interact with the local community. In his file I found a letter from the Migrant Resource Centre for Westgate Region to CCP thanking Bob for presenting himself to elderly migrant groups and ..’managed through your simplistic approach to gain trust; and the elderly people are confident and feel comfortable with your presence. I thank you for this. I hope other police will adopt the same method and offer the same service as you have provided.


  • Royal NZ Police College – Inspectors Qualifying Course March – May 1993.


  • On Feb 20 1995 Bob transferred to his last potions – Detective Senior Sergeant at the Crime Courses Unit (Detective Training School) where he would remain until he retired from policing.


  • Bob relished the opportunity to lecture young investigators and to use his unique coaching and mentoring skills. In the 5 years at DTS he had a role in the development of 100’s of police members and representatives from various other organisations.


  • Again his ability was recognised through the promotion into an Acting Chief Inspector position. In (Aug 1999) a file note, his Supt said of Bob – “…adopts a common sense approach. He has demonstrated the mental courage to make hard decisions with appropriate consideration and balance for corporate, unit and individual needs. He is an extremely intelligent, responsible and dedicated member.”


  • DTS was a special part of Bob’s career and fitting place to close off his policing life. He was highly respected by the staff and I’m proud to use this moment to make an announcement. DTS hold four courses each year and one of the detectives on the course are selected as the Dux (for those unfamiliar with the term it’s spelt DUX!) and are presented with a special award. In addition, one of the four Dux of each year is selected to receive what you may call a Top Gun award…..the best of the best. I’m pleased to announce that from this year onwards, in commemoration of his life, The Dux of The Year award will be known as the Bob Croxford Award.


  • Bob retired 23.9. 2000 (soon after turning 50) as Detective Acting Chief Inspector after 26 yrs + 239 days service. (Sick leave credit of 384 days)


  • During that time he received numerous awards, including
    • The Victoria police Star
    • National medal 7.9.90
    • Service Medal Second Clasp 1.9.97
    • National Medal First Clasp 31.7.99
    • Service Medal 3rd Clasp 1.9.99


  • Last entry on his Record of Service described Bob as a loyal and dedicated member who gave consistent and reliable service to Victoria Police and the community.”




Australia Post


  • The fourth and final chapter in Bob’s career was with Australia Post. Someone had encouraged Bob to take a move and he started with Post as Victorian State Manager of the Corporate Security Group on September 25th 2000.
  • On November 1st  2004 both was promoted to a national Position in the group as the Manager of Security Operations. It was the last time I’d have the privilege of working with Bob.
  • In October 2008 he became the head of Corporate Security and was formally appointed to the position on 20 January 2010.
  • Bob applied his personality and character to people at post and quickly became respected and loved. He could relate to everyone from every part of the organisation and had the same respect for all, whether they were the CEO or the mail room assistant.


  • “Warmth, sense of humour and genuine care for others”
  • “A life most people would aspire to….”
  • “Good luck with your projects”
  • “a good friend and valued colleague”


  • When I asked people at Post what they thought of when they thought of Bob, this was some of their responses….
  • “Bloody Collingwood”
  • “Beautiful handwriting – a magnificent signature”
  • “Loved the Soprano’s” – (ironically, today being the birthday of James Gandolfini (who played Tony Soprano), someone whom I suspect Bob secretly aspired to be!
  • “Ice cream” – you could be in the flashest of restaurants yet Bob would order 3 scoops of vanilla ice-cream for dessert”.



Bob’s professional career was exemplary and will form the major basis for people’s memories of Bob.



It would be wrong though to forget his other work roles – those he did on a voluntary or honorary basis. Just as an example:


  • Merriwa Wangaratta Apex Club (early 70’s)
  • Sunbury Fire Brigade (Mgt Team – HR)
  • Kiwanis Club of Sunbury (Secretary 94/95)
  • Football League Umpires Assoc. VFL Reserves (69-77)
  • Vic Amateur Football Assoc. (78-80) Umpired GF 78 and 79
  • Apex Club Sunbury
  • Salesian College Team Mgr U16
  • Sunbury Fair Committee
  • Tribunal Member Sunbury Basketball Association
  • Riddell District Umpires Association (Boundary Umpire late 80’s/early 90’s and later as a goal umpire, Tribunal Convenor and Umpire Advisor)
  • Tennis Australia (Volunteer Driver at Aust. Open) 98-2000
  • Presenter at Australian institute of Public Safety.
  • Justice of the Peace



If we had played the Trivia Night ‘sit-down’ game, I’m confident none of us would still be standing.


Bob had lived a full life and along the way touched thousands of people, rewarding each of us with the experience of having known him.


Over his 60 year journey, I believe Bob had given a little of himself to every one he’d touched ……..and the well had now run dry.



Rest In Peace my friend.




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