New South Wales Police has marked National Police Remembrance Day today by paying tribute to Probationary Constable Tim Macarounas, who lost his life in the line of duty in 1987.
In a post on Facebook, NSW Police shared how Tim grew up in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. He aspired to become a police officer because he wanted to help people, but he wasn’t able to apply at first as he was five centimetres short of the required height limit of 175 centimetres.
Luckily for Tim, this height restriction was repealed in 1986 and he immediately applied to join the NSW police force. He was sworn in as a police officer in March 1987 and posted to Paddington Police Station.
Although colleagues were reluctant to work with him at first as they thought his height hindered his ability to handle violent offenders, Tim quickly won them over with his easy going and pleasant nature.
According to the Facebook post, Tim’s life took a sudden turn in the early hours of October 12, 1987, during a night shift with two other police officers.
During the shift, another police vehicle became involved in a pursuit with a stolen vehicle along Oxford Street, Paddington. Being nearby, Tim (the designated driver) and his two colleagues assisted in the pursuit.
Near the intersection of Oatley Road, the front offside tyre of Tim’s police vehicle locked up. This caused the police vehicle to go into a spin where the driver’s side collided heavily with a light pole.
Tim was trapped by compression for 40 minutes until released by members of the Police Rescue Squad where he was rushed by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital in a critical condition. The two other officers were also seriously injured.
Sadly, Tim’s condition worsened, and he passed away eight days later where he was survived by his devastated parents and two younger brothers.
Inquiries later identified the driver of the stolen vehicle where he was convicted and jailed over a number of serious offences.
The officers with Tim later recovered from their injuries and returned to full duties.