For former police detective Trevor Carroll, finding a marijuana plantation in the mountains around Gloucester makes for a great story. So much so, he's added to it to his recently self published book, The Cops, Not just a Job, and it's not the only Gloucester tale to make the publication.
Trevor was a detective in Forster from 1990 until 2003 and found himself in Gloucester on several occasions, during which time he was part of numerous investigations. When writing his book, which covers his career as a police officer during the '80s and '90s, he included three Gloucester cases. Along with the substantial drug bust of 862 cannabis plants, he also recounts the suspicious death of an elderly woman whose 90-year-old husband was charged with aided suicide, and a savage home invasion where the occupant was beaten with a baseball bat.
Policing wasn't Trevor's first career, nor the topic of his first novel. As a young man, he drove an overland tour bus for Top Deck. The adventures he experienced from 1976 to 1981, during his land travels from London to Sydney were the subject of his first self-published book, Crossing Continents with Top Deck.
It was during his last overland tour that he meet his wife and decided it was time to settle down, so he returned to Australia and joined the police force.
"I was always interested in being a cop," Trevor said. "I was by no means a saint as a young man and had my share of traffic infringements, but I had a good role model."
Trevor was young when he lost his father and a local police sergeant in his hometown of Broken Hill took him under his wing. After graduating from the Redfern Police Academy in 1982, Trevor spent three years in Cabramatta, Sydney, but longed to return to the country.
"I was never a city person," Trevor said.
When he was offered the job at Forster, he took it and worked as a uniformed officer from 1985 until he became a detective five years later.
"I was interested in investigation and had some good role models in the Forster police department," he explained. "It's all about the attention to detail. It's a puzzle. You've got to keep looking. You've got to pay attention to the little things and cover all the basis."
In his book, he retells police events as they unfolded, has left out any gore and has changed all the names of the people involved. Even though he's only recently launched his book, he's already working on the next one, which will again include stories from Gloucester.
The Cops, Not just a Job is on sale at the Gloucester Bookshop.