Sergeant Steve Luplau collecting his retirement plaque 

 By Rhiannon Barrett

Sergeant Steve Luplau decided to hang up his blues after 44 years of devoted service to the WA Police Force.

Serving at 15 stations from 1974 to 2019, Steve placed his life on the line, multiple times, to fulfil his core duty of reducing road toll and serious crashes as well as targeted traffic patrol work.

Entering the WA Police Force aged 19, regional stations proved challenging for the young Steve, with daily calls across all shifts, he would frequently be confronted with life-threatening situations.

“Whilst stationed in Kalgoorlie in 1976, we responded to a vehicle suspected to be involved in a murder and serious assault,” Steve said.

“We joined the Coolgardie officers in a pursuit and followed them along Great Eastern Highway until their car slowed down and we took over the pursuit.

“Once the car slowed and the suspect was confronted by a number of heavily armed police officers, we found out that the car being pursued had been shooting at the police vehicles while in pursuit in Coolgardie. Luckily, they were bad shots and missed us.”

Steve focused his entire livelihood to policing and believed that his ethical work and commitment was a way to make WA roads safer.

Like many frontline officers, Steve faced daily challenges, but took them in his stride.

“Another instance was when I was called out to a truck roll over in Carnarvon,” he said.

“I arrived to find a double trailer road train on its side and the provisions of the Shark Bay Store spread on the road and in the shrubs.

“There was everything the Shark Bay Store would use over a long weekend, including cans of beer, which were exploding like mines in the blazing sun,”.

“I arrived at the scene at 7am and didn’t leave until seven the next morning. I had a court hearing only a few hours later and fell asleep in court. The magistrate was not happy at first, but once explained I was excused for the day.” Steve said.

Steve was recently presented with his retirement plaque at WAPU HQ and was commended for being the last person in his class to retire.

Over the entirety of his time with the WA Police Force, Steve received an achievement award from the Kellerberrin community and was responsible for putting together the operational orders for the first ever West Coast Eagles game at Subiaco Oval in 1987.  

“I never regretted dedicating myself to the Police Traffic Branch. I had many memorable moments during my nearly 45-year career,” Steve said.

“My involvement in the local communities I resided in were a strong influence on my personal and professional life. Being involved in community engagement was a part of the greater goal of the police and public working together,” Steve said.

Steve spent the first half of his retirement caring for his late wife. He now spends his time looking after his grandchildren, travelling and established a ride share business.