FORMER Heathcote policeman Leading Senior Constable Stephen Harvey was killed on a property near Walwa on Sunday after being electrocuted while working with a generator.
Senior Constable Harvey had been stationed at Walwa for only eight months after moving from Eildon, where he moved to from Heathcote.
Walwa locals said the 53-year-old had made a big impact on the small community since moving last March working the one-man police station.
“He had an impact on the town in such a short time,” Walwa General Store owner Joyce Hunt said.
“Everyone here can’t believe it, we’re devastated.”
Ms Hunt said the courteous and likeable police officer epitomised what a copper on the bush beat should be like.
“He was making a big connection with everyone. He reached out to people,” she said.
Senior Constable Harvey spent days off with the Planned Activity Group, where Walwa’s older population would meet weekly for lunch.
Ms Hunt, who served coffee to the police officer almost daily, said he often just called on the elderly to check if they were OK.
Senior Constable Harvey also had been on school camps with the Walwa Primary School and gave talks to the students so they understood the role of a police officer.
“If you had a problem, he did all he could to help,” she said.
Sargeant Bernie Magner, of Eildon police, worked with Sen-Constable Harvey for two years during Sen-Constable Harvey’s six years there.
Sargeant Magner, a friend as well as a colleague, has spent the last two days informing the Eildon community.
“Everyone’s really upset. A lot of people have taken it very hard,” he said..
“He was very connected to his community and very highly regarded at Eildon ... he went above and beyond what’s expected.”
At Wodonga, Inspector Tony Davis said the work of a police officer in one-man stations like Walwa was often demanding and difficult. “It’s a loss for the community.”