One of Ballarat's most respected police officers, Ian Harris, has died aged 59.
A career police officer, he was well-known for shooting notorious criminal Edward "Jockey" Smith after pulling him over in Creswick in 1992.
But there was much more to the story than just this incident, which defined the latter part of his life.
His former boss in Ballarat, Barry Traynor, described Mr Harris - or 'Dizzy' - as an "old-fashioned policeman".
"Ian was on my staff - he was one of those genuine people that was a little bit different to the average policeman," he said.
"I was going through his record sheet, and the things that stood out, he was honest, he was loyal, and his integrity was beyond reproach.
"What he wanted to be was a policeman, and why he wanted to be a policeman was very simple - he wanted to help people, and he wanted to protect people.
"There were lots of police who went through Ballarat when I was there, and this fella stood out - he was one of those genuine, loyal, terrific young blokes."
Mr Traynor, now a police veteran peer support officer, said he remembered Mr Harris as always keen to volunteer his time, including at a massive charity rowing marathon on the Murray River in the late 1980s.
"Ian was part of the land crew, which consisted of all the Indigenous boys who helped us put the boats in the river and set up camps - this is nearly 30 years ago that we were doing this stuff, helping with the Aboriginal community.
"Ian was one of those dedicated people, I can still see him walking through the bush with branches cutting him, carting water and food to us and lugging these big boats, that's the sort of fella he was."
The Creswick incident occurred while Mr Harris was the town's sole police officer - as thoroughly detailed elsewhere, it began with a routine traffic stop, but ended with a gun to Mr Harris' head, a passer-by driving his car at the criminal, and Mr Harris' snap decision.
READ THE FULL STORY: How one night in Creswick changed Ian 'Dizzy' Harris' life forever
In the years that followed, it took an immense toll.
"All of a sudden he became a hero to a lot of people, but to him, he was just an ordinary constable in Ballarat - people were taking him out for drinks and patting him on the back, and he built this big facade in front of him, and it got to him," Mr Traynor said.
"At the end of the day, you're John Citizen, no different to Billy Smith down the road, you go home, you've got kids, you're in footy clubs, you're doing everything everyone else in the world does.
"I've spent 30 years in the police force - what we have to look at down the track is how we address the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder in police, like the alcoholism, there are lots of issues with domestic violence, because there's been a habit over the years of saying it's part and parcel of your job, and we don't talk about it."
READ MORE: Police PTSD probe overdue
After leaving the police force, Mr Harris spent years pushing for better mental health care for retired officers - speaking to The Courier in 2015, he said "things are going to have to change, it's well and good for them to help serving members, but now once you're off their books - that's it".
It's understood Mr Harris died on Friday morning of natural causes.
Mr Traynor said he hoped Mr Harris would be remembered as an "exceptional" police officer.
"In the mess room, there'd be the whiteboard of things we had to do, and I can still remember this vividly from 30 years ago, there'd be 'Mr So-and-So has had problems with these cars', and you'd hear from the back of the room, 'I'll do it boss, I'll go and do it'," Mr Traynor said with a grin.
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"One of the biggest things that happened in Ballarat, in my day, was the Police Ball at the Civic Hall, and it was magnificent, 5 or 600 people.
"To get it all organised, there's a committee, but there's so much to do to make it look good, and being the senior sergeant, I had to give them some time to do this, and have a guess at who was first to volunteer to help out - 'I'll get the bunting, I'll put the chairs out' - nobody sees all that, and that was the bloke.
"On behalf of all my former colleagues who worked in Ballarat, we offer our condolences to all of Ian's family and friends, and in particular his wife Jacinta and his sons Clinton and Richard."
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